I realize that this is a Trout Unlimited newsletter, but I have confession to make to all of you: I love to fish for more than just trout. Now don't get me wrong. Trout are fabulous, but I'll fish for just about anything that has fins. For me the list includes trout, salmon, steelhead, black bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, shad and striped bass. I really love to fish for striped bass. If you haven't tried fishing for stripers yet, make this the season you get out and give it a go.
We are lucky because Andy Guibord, a local striped bass guru and fly tyer, works at Kiene's Fly Shop and has agreed to teach a class at our April meeting on tying flies for striper fishing the American River. I have had the good fortune to tie flies and fish with Andy and can guarantee he knows what he is talking about. Don't miss this chance to learn from one of Sacramento's best striped bass fisherman.
One of the most interesting professors I had at the university was a math instructor who was a little different than the rest. Truth be known he was a lot different than most of the professors I knew. While taking his class I came to respect and admire him and learned a great deal from him. The interesting thing is the most important lessons had absolutely nothing to do with math.
This particular professor had a habit of occasionally lecturing on things that had nothing to do with math and everything to do with life. One day he came in and started talking about California coastal redwoods. He told us the Latin name, some of the history of the tree and the threats that the tree faced. Most importantly he talked about his personal commitment to preserving coastal redwoods in his local area. The gist of his message was that he could not protect all of the redwoods everywhere, but he could protect the trees that were in his backyard, and that come hell or high water, that's what he intended to do. Now remember, this is a university math professor lecturing to a classroom full of 19 and 20 year old science and engineering students. He wanted us to be aware that we were going to need to make choices about how we were going to live our lives. His goal I think was to get us to realize we would need to make a difference, not just make a living.
My 20 year old son Isaac questions whether one person can really make a difference in the larger scheme of things. He and I have discussed (my wife might say argued) this point many times. As a father I hope that he comes to understand the power of individual action. I think my other son Joshua gets my point and maybe even believes me! Given that Joshua is 18 I regard that as something of an accomplishment.
You probably already know that TU was founded 50 years ago this year by a small group of people who believed they could make a difference in the direction of the watersheds they loved and fished. They acted on the belief that individuals who care can make a difference. When I look at all TU has accomplished in the past 50 years I'd say they have done pretty well.
As I write this in mid-December, it's finally started to rain here in Sacramento. The cloudy, rainy days make me think about steelhead fishing and the plans that have already been made to chase these magnificent fish with Dan, my regular fishing partner.
I'm someone that needs a plan and a goal that I am actively working on in my life. Goals give focus to my energies and thoughts and give me something to work toward and dream about as I go about my daily life. I also believe it is important for organizations to have a plan and that it is effectively communicated to all members of the group. Trout Unlimited is all about coldwater fisheries conservation. The challenge for us is to translate that into concrete actions that we take in our region to protect and improve our local fisheries.
My first goal as President is to work with the other board members to develop and communicate an action plan for 2009 in the February newsletter. The plan will be simple with a few concrete goals where we can focus our thoughts, our energies and our efforts as a group. A primary focus of the plan will be to increase the number of hands-on conservation projects that the chapter is involved with. This will mean more opportunities for all of us to make a difference in our local watersheds. Look for more detailed information in next month's newsletter!!
In about 6 weeks the Chapter will celebrate its 2nd Anniversary, and I will be stepping down as president. Much of the hard and sometimes tedious administrative groundwork has been done and we're ready to expand our scope of activities to tasks that are much more fun – such as planning and conducting hands-on restoration activities, or just getting together at some fishin' hole and sharing ideas. I know it's stated above but now may be the time to repeat "We need your input and participation to help protect the fisheries". If you think the Chapter is moving too slow, or moving too fast, or headed in the wrong direction, or ?????, please volunteer to actively assist by making a commitment to serve on the Board or a committee for just 1 year (October 2008 – September 2009). On Page 2 are the current nominees for the election next month. Three of the highest priorities we have identified for committee activity are publicity, speaker's bureau, and conservation.
Because the Chapter territory is so large (approximately 8,200 square miles), and many people are now on-line, we are planning to conduct quite a few Board meetings in the comfort of our own homes via teleconferencing – all you need is a computer with internet connection and a head set (and yes, you can participate in your pj's since we will only be able to see documents being discussed, not each other). This will save time and money on travel for everyone, and is a way for the chapter to be a bit more "green". We also hope this will encourage active participation of members in outlying areas to help identify regional issues and to serve as liaison with their local organizations.
As I prepare to hand over the reins of the presidency to someone else, I wish to say "Thank You" to everyone who has been so supportive of the Chapter and its programs since our first meeting 2 years ago. Many of us joined TU to work in the sun (and rain if necessary) to protect and restore habitat for fish, but building an organization from the ground up requires a lot of time be devoted to administrative duties. Based on how much we've accomplished, the Board members either worked when they should have been sleeping, or they worked on administrative stuff when they would have rather been outdoors. Whichever, they deserve a zillion "thank you's".
However, the Board members are not the only ones who deserve credit for our progress -- we need to acknowledge the speakers who have donated their time while we get on our feet financially, and the individuals and organizations which have donated in some way to help cover costs for projects and our newsletter.
Yes, as past president I will still be helping with administrative functions but I am looking forward to more time in the sun (and rain if necessary!) protecting the fisheries in this area of California – they are among the best in the nation and with your help we can keep them that way. s/Barbara Bania
Last year Joe and I put together a month-long display at the Cameron Park Library for Hangtown Fly Fishers on the history, equipment and adventures of fly fishing. The display was so well received it was given special recognition by the El Dorado County Library system. As a result, Hangtown Fly Fishers was asked this past summer to repeat the display at the Placerville Library in December. Hangtown Fly Fishers is not going to do the display and the library would like to have the Sac-Sierra Chapter prepare a display on coldwater fisheries conservation.
I need your input as to the type of material we should include, and what you may have to lend to the display that would be unique. The library specifies this is to be an educational display (not an advertisement for an organization, but the organization can be subtly referenced in the display), and we can have Chapter brochures and TU membership applications on the checkout counter. I am willing to coordinate the display since Kevin is taking over some of the responsibilities I now have, but we need material that will fit the display cases -- I need your help!
Thousands of acres of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley have been removed from agricultural production, largely because the once fertile land is contaminated by salt buildup from years of irrigation. But large swaths of those dry fields could have a valuable new use in their future, making electricity.
Farmers and officials at Westlands Water District, a public agency that supplies water to farms in the valley, have agreed to provide land for what would be one of the world's largest solar energy complexes, to be built on 30,000 acres. At peak output, the proposed Westlands Solar Park would generate as much electricity as several BIG nuclear power plants.
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January 2008 Newsletter
February 2008 Newsletter
March 2008 Newsletter
April 2008 Newsletter
May 2008 Newsletter
June 2008 Newsletter
July 2008 Newsletter
August 2008 Newsletter
September 2008 Newsletter
October 2008 Newsletter
November 2008 Newsletter
December 2008 Newsletter
January 2009 Newsletter
February 2009 Newsletter
March 2009 Newsletter
April 2009 Newsletter
May 2009 Newsletter
June 2009 Newsletter
New Zealand Mud Snail (NZMS) & Insect Assessment on the Middle Fork of the American River, June 28th. Ken Davis, aquatic biologist & wildlife photojournalist, explained the problems created by the NZMS and gave us an overview of how the assessment would be conducted.
We did not find any NZMS during our assessment but we did notice a great difference in the quantity and diversity of insects found in different segments of the survey area, impressing upon us the interrelationship between habitat and fish populations. Following is some information we all need to know about NZMS: (1) they are very tiny and feel like grains of sharp sand, (2) within 10 seconds they can become hidden in the seams of your boots and waders, (3) they are very prolific and eat the same food fish eat thereby depleting the food available for the fish, (4) they need moisture to survive so sun dry your clothing & gear thoroughly before entering another stream or lake.