Trout Unlimited in Tennessee
The Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited (TU) is a coalition of volunteers from the state’s eight TU chapters who serve as the key link between local chapters and the national TU organization.
The mission of the council, like that of TU nationally, is to conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries. Throughout Tennessee, the council leads advocacy efforts, fosters widespread understanding of the significance of the coldwater resource and nurtures chapter development and grassroots conservation.
Among the Tennessee Council’s current programs are the following:
* Supporting the Great Smoky Mountains Trout Adventure Camp for middle school girls and boys, held each June in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For more information, click here.
* Working with the chapters to contribute money and volunteers for restoration of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee Aquarium and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s Tellico Hatchery. The success of this work led to an award from the American Fisheries Society; for details, click here.
* Offering grants up to $10,000 to Tennessee TU chapters for coldwater fisheries conservation projects from the Tennessee Chapter Grants Program, funded by the Tennessee TU conservation automobile license plate.
* Encouraging establishment of Trout in the Classroom programs throughout the state to teach youngsters in grades K-12 about aquatic habitats and creatures, and about the importance of preserving and protecting them.
* Making a special effort to attract young people, women and military veterans to active participation in TU—enlarging our capabilities for grassroots conservation work.
* Establishing liaison among Tennessee TU chapters; helping them solve problems ranging from fundraising to membership recruitment; guiding them in carrying out TU’s national policies and objectives; helping them communicate with national TU staff, the National Leadership Council and the Board of Trustees.
As a result of these programs and of hard work by TU volunteers statewide, the Tennessee Council brought home two TU National Conservation Awards from the 2015 annual meeting in Scranton, Pennsylvania, plus national recognition for a Tennessee volunteer. For details on these and other awards, click here.
The Tennessee Council, despite all its connections to the chapters and the national organization, is an autonomous entity, holding its own employer identification number and filing its own tax forms. For more information about the council’s structure, click here to read the council bylaws. For a list of the Tennessee chapters and their contact information, click here.
TN Council Meeting & BBQ
All Tennessee TU members are also members of the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited—so here’s an invitation: Please join us at the summer council meeting on Saturday, July 9, graciously hosted by the Cumberland Chapter.
Why should you go? To find out how your money’s being spent, to put faces with the names of your state officers, to see what the council does, to compete in a just-for-fun casting contest ... to take an active part at the heart of Tennessee Trout Unlimited.
The council meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) meeting facility near Cookeville (directions below). All Tennessee TU members and all trout campers are welcome to take part.
Key agenda items are election of council officers and of the National Leadership Council representative, and preliminary discussion of the FY 2016-17 budget.
After the meeting, the Cumberland Chapter will host attendees at the annual chapter barbecue at Long Branch Recreation Area below Center Hill Dam on the scenic Caney Fork River. If you plan to attend, please notify Roger Hamiter by June 25 at email@example.com or (615) 627-6620, to make sure there’ll be plenty of barbecue, baked beans, slaw, potato salad and banana pudding for everyone.
* Directions to the USACE meeting facility: Take I-40 to exit 268 and head south on TN 96 (Medley Amonette Rd) for 4+ miles. At the intersection with TN 141, turn right on TN 96/141; go about 0.3 mile, bear right and continue for about 200 yards to the meeting place.
* Directions to the barbecue: Return to TN 96/141 and turn right. Follow TN 96/141 across Center Hill Dam and turn right on TN 141; go about 0.4 mile and turn right on Lancaster Road. The picnic pavilion is about 500 feet on the left.
Help Smokies Fisheries
If you enjoy fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park—or just visiting there—you can add to your experience by becoming a volunteer with fisheries activities in the park.
To see a schedule of this year’s volunteer opportunities, please click here. To volunteer, get in touch with the Tennessee coordinator for volunteer activities in the park: Charlie Chmielewski, firstname.lastname@example.org or (865) 661-7325.
Officers of the Tennessee Council are: