There were numerous other conservation-oriented organizations present, providing us with an opportunity to contact some new people with whom we plan to develop working partnerships during the coming year. Many had interactive activities for the children which helps reinforce what the children learn. This year we kept our booth fairly simple by showing various videos of fishery conservation issues and activities – educational but not truly interactive. Noting the activities of some of the other organizations stimulated ideas among our members for our booth for next year, and those ideas have been written down and filed for reference.
We did not attempt to count how many people stopped in to visit our booth but we rarely had a period during the two days when we weren't talking with at least one visitor. We almost exhausted our supply of membership forms so hopefully some of those people will join and become active members of the Chapter.
The purpose of Chapter participation in the festival was three-fold:
To support the sponsoring agencies in their effort to generate public awareness of conservation issues relating to protecting the salmon
To encourage visitors to join Trout Unlimited and actively work toward the protection, conservation and restoration of coldwater fisheries
To raise funds for future restoration projects within our Chapter territory.
For our fundraising efforts, we had 3 raffles of varying costs. The raffles included a private flycasting lesson by Jeff Putnam, a half-day trip with Andy Guibord fishing for striped bass on the American River, and 3 consecutive nights in a condo at Mammoth Lakes donated by one of our Chapter members. The winners were selected by random drawing at 4 PM today, and will be notified by letter within the next couple of days. We earned over $800 from the raffles.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to the donors of the raffle items, and also to the members who helped plan and staff the booth. Without you, we could not have made such strides toward funding future restoration activities.