Community This past year has seen the Wildcat clean-ups continue. We've improved river walk-in access at Rim Shoals. And Tom is pursuing permission to improve access at Roundhouse Shoals. Rhonda, Sara and other volunteers represented our chapter at events such as Sow-Bug, Cotter Trout Fest, Gregg's Wildlife Expo and the Fly Fishing Fair.
TiC Our Trout in the Classroom program is active in most area schools. Four in Baxter County (Mtn Home and Norfork, and one at Dally's Fly Shop); three in Marion County (Flippin and Yellville); two in Izard County (Calico Rock). We have had to put a cap on the number of classrooms that can get involved, primarily because we do not have enough volunteers to aide the teachers with tank set-ups and questions during the year.
Youth Camp Our summer program is a one-day weekend event. Children between the ages of 10 - 16 are invited to learn about trout, trout habitat, entomology, fly tying and fishing. We limit the group to 20 children and require an adult to attend with them. Lunches, equipment and ourenergy are all provided free to those who register. We had several no-shows in 2017, which was frustrating after all the planning, volunteering and purchasing was done to accommodate a larger group. We intend to continue providing a free camp in 2018, but a $50 registration "donation" will be required. The money will then be refunded when the child attends camp.
Egg Planting The Bonneville Cutthroat egg planting program was planned as a five-year project and included both the North Fork and White Rivers. We have yet to plant eggs five times in either river, primarily because our spring planting schedule interferes with Mother Nature and her own plans. BUT, we have planted four times in the North Fork and there are plenty of pictures and stories that prove our babies our growing. Are they spawning? That is yet unknown. TL keeps us informed of progress. Here's to a moderately rainy 2018 spring season!
Water Protection Another project we've taken on is vegetation management at Dry Run Creek. Many TU members found it disheartening when overzealous prisoners whacked weeds and small trees with no regard for the riparian zone at the creek. Tom Emerick was instrumental in getting an agreement between the folks at Norfork Fish Hatchery, A.G. & F.C. and Corp of Engineers that addressed this issue. They agreed to use civic and environmental volunteer works groups as the first line of defense against weed control. Our chapter and other volunteers conducted both spring and fall workdays in 2017.