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Kid’s Fishing Goes Well

Our 5th annual kid’s fishing day went well with our highest number of children participating. I heard many comments and “thank yous” from the parents and grandparents who brought their family and friends children. One man who brought 3 children said this was their first opportunity to go fishing for trout and wanted to let our chapter know how much he appreciated us doing this. Hotdogs and drinks were provided by SMTU and the brook trout were stocked by the NCWRC with Kevin Hinning heading that up again this year. It is his 5th year doing this and we want to thank him. Rods were given away to eight lucky kids and were donated to SMTU by Denver General Store owned by Frank Craven. Thanks again to everyone who helped and looking forward to doing it again next year

Stone Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited image
Stone Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited image
Stone Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited image
Stone Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited image
Stone Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited image

Fishing The Reddies River Delayed Harvest Section

I usually target wild trout streams when I get a chance to go fly fishing but I had a few hours after church to hit the delayed harvest section on the Reddies River here in North Wilkesboro so I couldn’t resist a chance to wet a line. This is the new C&R section from Robbies down to were the Reddies River enters the Yadkin River. In just a couples hours I managed to catch and release 21 trout. It was a good mix of browns, bows and brookies. The biggest fish was a 12 inch rainbow with the rest being about standard size, 8 to 10 inches. There are some fresh fish in from the recent stocking so the fish weren’t that particular about the fly selection. I did notice some rising fish but didn’t take the time to change from the nymphs I fished the whole time I was there. I saw blue winged olives, crane flies, and alot of midges. There seems to be alot of bug life in that section despite the fact that it is far from pristine. Fish seem to be holding mostly at the end of riffle sections and along seems were fast and slow water meet. They also seem to be pretty well spread out in the areas I have mentioned. If you fish this water please be careful because there are some deep pools and some areas were you could get stuck in the silt so try to avoid these areas. As far as I could tell these areas didn’t hold fish anyway. Good luck.

An Interesting Energy Alternative

Thought some of our members might enjoy reading these articles on plasma converters. Many of us who saw “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox remembers Doc’s car used this to burn garbage for fuel. We don’t want to limit our member blogs to just fishing, so anything that might have a conservation theme related to the environment is welcomed.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/plasma-converter.htm/printable
http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2007-03/prophet-garbage

Summary From The Summit

Notes from the march 14 Joint Meeting (by Alen Baker)

The Joint Initiative of the
North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited and their Chapters;
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; Foothill Nature Conservancy representing other mountain/foothill NC Nature Conservancies; and, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, their Chapters and their affiliates.

Common Goals and Objectives
GOAL: Establish annual in-depth habitat monitoring and consulting at ____ sites over the next five (5) years in the mountain region.
The larger group will determine a reachable stretch goal for the expected number of sites where we may have the opportunity to put habitat stewardship to practice and make a huge impact on protecting the future of our resources. This can include public land but much of the opportunity is expected to be private land where current landowners buy into habitat protection and willing seek guidance and take actions that make a difference.

Objective 1. Establish a working group among NCTU, NCWRC, FNC and NCWF to develop a flexible and mountain region oriented conservation habitat stewardship training program that may be sponsored by any of these organizations or Chapters and Affiliates of these organizations.
The working group consists of Fred Harris, Squeak Smith, Dick Everhart, Steve Schmeiser, Doug Besler, Sam Ogburn and Tim Wilhelm. The larger group and any others that have interest in leading this effort will reconvene soon as the working group completes this objective. The program is focused on the mountain region but is expected to be adaptable to the piedmont and coastal regions. Diane Silver currently teaches a Master Stream Stewards course that appears to be very close to our needs for the mountain region. NWF Habitat Stewards training appears to be adaptable in many regards as well. The working group’s mission is to leverage any current training opportunities and develop the desired content of a model conservation habitat stewardship training program focused on the mountain region that will support other programs such as the Wildlife Friendly Development Certification.

Objective 2. Conduct ___ habitat stewardship training program classes at

locations over the next five (5) years.
Once the habitat stewardship training program is established, the combined efforts of each of the organizations will contribute to the number of sessions and classes conducted to meet the both the demand of our constituents as well as the demand coming from future expected resource impacts. The locations will be identified as a means to bring the sessions and classes close to those we expect to register and complete the training. Two of the many locations needed are the Asheville/Henderson area and the Boone area where both NCTU and NCWF have Chapters.

Objective 3. Each trained Conservation Habitat Steward will volunteer ____ minimum hours annually toward habitat monitoring and consulting.
Once the habitat stewardship training is completed by an individual, they will agree as part of graduation to a minimum number of hours of service each year. This number will be recommended by the working group but is expected to be possibly higher than current expectations from current training which is 5 hours per month or 60 hours per year.

Objective 4. Identify and outreach to the groups impacting and influencing the future of wildlife habitat in the mountain region.
Each organization cooperatively must reach out to the many groups that impact and influence wildlife habitat. Groups identified at the first meeting include Landscape Architects Association, the homebuilder organizations, county governments, municipalities, realtors, Rotary clubs and additional NGO’s. The working group is expected to expand this list with additional and specific groups as much as possible.

Objective 5. Internally promote and educate our constituents in our individual organizations.
Each organization cooperatively must promote and education members and supporters.


REFERENCE MATERIALS FOLLOWS:

Habitat Steward (base program)

Presentations on providing the four essential elements of a functioning ecosystem/habitat
Food
Water
Shelter
Places to raise young
Soil Stewardship
The composition of healthy soil, how to get it and how to maintain it without chemicals
Toxicity Reduction
Backyard Composting
Water Conservation
Lawn/Chemical Reduction
BMP’s for reducing/managing storm run off
Reducing impervious surfaces
Water quality
Climate Change
Species Highlights:  Understanding the needs of and how to provide for:
Native Insects
Native Birds
Native Mammals
Gardening for the entire food web
Understanding the role of native plants vs exotics
Invasives
Understanding the threats of non-native species, Flora and Fauna
Understanding the resources available to you, how to access them.
Local, County, Regional and State agencies. 
How to influence policy
District and advisory boards
Understanding the decision process
Getting plugged in to environmental/conservation community
Understanding the big picture of environmental stewardship:  Buying/growing local organic food, lifestyle changes, spreading the word, etc.


NCWF Certification Programs

WAIT (Industrial and Commercial)
FAITH (Religious organizations – Churches, Retreats)
Farms (to be developed)
Wildlife Friendly Development (Residential - Developers and HOAs)
NWF Backyards (Schools, Residential – Individual
Wildlife Friendly Development Supplemental
NC Wildlife Action Plan
Wildlife Friendly Development (WFD) Evaluation Criteria
Understanding the WFD Criteria
Improvement options
Common property
Corridors
Habitat linkage
Adjoining residential backyards
Conservation easements
Assisting Home Owner Associations

Mountains (Coldwater) Supplemental
Watersheds
Erosion and sedimentation
Point pollution
Non-Point pollution
Effects of flooding
Effects of drought
Riparian Zones
Channelization
Effects of farming and golf courses
Wood debris
Aquatic food chain for fish
Terrestrial food chain for fish

Piedmont (Freshwater) Supplemental
Marshes
Wetlands protection
Effects of draining
Meandering Streams
Canalization
Effects of storm run-off
Shallow impoundments
Groundwater contamination

Coastal (Saltwater) Supplemental
Estuaries
Salt marshes
Salt ponds
Seawalls and dredging
Beaches
Tidal erosion
Dunes and the loss of sea grass
Jetties
EXAMPLES OF NWF HABITAT STEWARDS TRAINING FOLLOWS:

FRIDAY MARCH 6 – “Basics”
8:30-9 Coffee
9:00 Introductions
9:30 – 10:30 BYH presentation – Carol Buie-Jackson
10:30-10:40 Break
10:45-11:30 Nancy Devries – Bird Feeders and Food Options
11:30-12:30 Laura Domingo – Nature Deficiency Disorder
12:30-1:15 Lunch
1:15 -1:30 Quiz or Discussion
1:30 – 2:30 Water Quality– Erin Oliverio
2:30- 3:30   Soil –Jennifer Krupowicsz
3:30 Laura Domingo – Forest identification-Trees, mushrooms and fungi


SATURDAY MARCH 7 – “Basics & Applied Knowledge”
8:30-9:30 NC & Piedmont habitat types – topography Scott Fletcher
9:30-10:30 Wetlands and Herps – Scott Fletcher
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 –12:45 Craig Wyant - Landscaping for Wildlife/seasonal wildlife feeding plants
12:45-1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm -2:45 Djiana Scott-Harmony – “Harmony Gardens” 
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00 pm Invasive Plants-Mary Stauble
4:00 pm Entymology-Pollinators, helpful insects and pests –Lenny Lampel


SUNDAY MARCH 8 – “Beyond the Basics”
8:30 Coffee, Quiz
9:00 Compost basics (Carol Buie-Jackson (or Master Composter?)
10:00-10:45 Beneficial (organic) Gardening-Julie Higgie
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Butterflies- Laura Domingo
12:00 Lunch
12:45-2:45 Site Survey – class exercise – Mary Bures – (outdoors)
3:00pm Debbie Foster – FAITH site-St. Lukes Catholic Church in Matthews
4:00pm Graduation &  pep talks


Topics for Cold Water Habitat Stewards: 
• Bodies of Water & the Wildlife found in each
• Wetlands Native Plants and Invasives
• Native plants that feed aquatic (and other) wildlife
• Invasive freshwater species and ways to control
• Waterfowl & Mammal Identification (including muskrats, beavers, otters, etc) - use of tracks and other markers to know what wildlife can be found in an area. 
• Breeding seasons for various herps, turtle nesting (and how to protect breeding areas)
• Erosion and ways to mitigate, stream & riparian buffers
• Injured waterfowl and other wildlife – what to know, what to do, who to contact
• Mosquito and other natural pest control
• micro-aquatic life (Dr. Ken Manuel of Duke Energy is a great speaker on this topic)

NCTU-NCWF-FCNC-NCWRC Summit Metting

Dick Everhart and myself went to the recent meeting in Morganton to find out about the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan. It is basically a plan offered to developers to get a stamp of approval from these groups if they meet certain criteria of wildlife habitat and maintain that habitat. Buffers along mountain streams was one of the main focuses of this meeting and is why NCTU was involved. This program will be a state wide venture though, involving groups in all areas and will focus on the needs in each groups specific area but will include some type of body of water from mountains to coast. The goal is to protect our most valuable resource which of course is our water. Dick and I will keep our chapter up to date on the progress of this new venture and I am proud to say Mr. Everhart will represent us on the board getting this program going. I will also get Doug Besler, who is regional supervisor of the division of inland fisheries, to come and talk some more to our chapter to further explain the concept. I would also like to invite everyone to visit a very interesting web-site that will shed some more light on the subject. http://www.ncwildlife.org/greengrowth. I will also post any other link information as I receive it.

.

Stone Mountain Chapter Of T U Has New Web-Site

Hope everyone has had a chance to hit the water for some fishing the last few weeks. The weather hasn’t been for the faint of heart, but it has been nice to see the rain and the streams are looking the best I have seen in some time. I hope this is the start of a better year as far as water flows are concerned as we have seen terribly low conditions for the last several years.

As the title would imply, this is the first entry of the new SMTU web-site. It took us awhile to get it going and will take more time to get up and running at full tilt, but we plan on making it one our chapter can be proud of as well as being functional. I feel our web designer has made us a tool that will not only give us the ability to keep you better informed but will be a tool for communication between all our members. Our recent meetings have been a mix of ideas and suggestions as to how we can create more participation from our members and one of the things we felt to be important for the future of our chapter was a web-site people could not only visit but be a part of. I hope you will enjoy what we have done here and be sure to use it as a tool for your cold water conservation and become more involved for the coming year.

Some Fly Fishing Suggestions For January

As someone who has been fishing for many years and in some very cold weather I would like to take some time to caution everyone and give them some cold weather tips to help make their fishing more enjoyable. January can be a great time to catch fish on nymphs, and dry flies when the temps move up above the mid 40’s, but if you are miserable because of the cold it won’t matter. I have found that dressing in layers is the best way to hit the stream in winter months so adjustments can easily be made. The first layer should be thin, next can be the layer of fleece, and last but not least should be the layer that is not only warm but blocks the wind and rain if need be. Fleece is one of the warmest materials besides wool I have found, but does little to stop wind. I even layer the bottom half of my body adding layers for lower temps and while still using my breathable waders to stop the wind and of course keep out the water. By layering you can take off or add as the weather dictates. Being to warm and sweating can cause problems if the weather turns colder or as the sun goes down so again layering can help avoid this problem. One other thing many fly fishers forget is to stay hydrated in cold weather. If you drink several cups of coffee before you hit the stream be sure to drink an adequate amount of water too. 

Stone Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited image

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