Committed to 
Protecting, Connecting and Restoring Arizona's watersheds and fisheries.
"I think I fish, in part, because it's an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution."
~John Gierach
Message From The President
Greetings!
Happy New Year!

We wish you a joyous and prosperous new year. We certainly hope 2021 is better than 2020. On reflection though, despite the challenges of 2020, we had many successes.

On a national level:
  • we defeated the Pebble mine: the combined efforts of Trout Unlimited and other conservation organizations, along with conservation minded businesses and just plain common sense resulted in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers ruling against the Pebble mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.
  • We fully funded the Great American Outdoor Act, which among other things fully funded the "Land and Water Conservation Fund" The LWCF provides funding for everything outdoors; from hiking trails to ball fields, basketball courts, and swimming pools in underserved areas.

Here in Arizona, we found youth, diversity, and conservation opportunities in:
  • R-C Pond restoration, we helped get the pond clear of brush, drained, dredged, burned cattails, refilled, and stocked the pond temporarily with bluegill fish.
  • Conducted several Boys and Girls Club "learn-to-fish" after school sessions until shut down by pandemic restrictions
  • Participated in several combination trash cleanup and fishing opportunities.
  • Hosted several women focused events, including a trip to Lee's Ferry, and a half-dozen virtual book clubs. (Incidentally, the AZWOTU have held their book club meetings virtually before virtual meets were cool)!
  • We operated the first ever Arizona fish camp in conjunction with BSA Grand Canyon Council.
  • We conducted " how-to” clinics on carp fishing with Desert Fly Casters Club
  • We cohosted "Salt River Saturday” with Arizona Flycasters Club and AZFishbook
  • We cohosted an introductory and intermediate fly-casting class with AZFishbook and local FFI certified casting instructors.

We plan additional fishing/conservation outings for 2021, as well as additional fly-casting instruction; so watch for the announcements.

Beginning this month, on January 28, we plan a quarterly series of virtual meetings on trout fishing in Arizona. We began with the incredible story of the Apache trout revitalization: from plenty to near extinction, to catch and keep populations once again.

These discussions are not aimed at biologists but rather the average angler that wants to catch more fish. We'll discuss the how, when, where, what techniques and flies work best. Please join us. More about these virtual meetings later in the newsletter

We plan a great 2021, and look forward to you joining us for our various activities and conservation opportunities.

Continuing in 2021:
Zane Grey Chapter and AZFishbook.com are jointly hosting a series of Salt River Saturdays and we'll also have additional casting classes. Look for the announcement of the next events.

Help Wanted Needed!
Tired of doing crossword puzzles and 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzles? Then consider volunteering for a position with your chapter board. We currently are looking for a recording secretary, a newsletter editor, a STREAM Keeper leader, and a board member at-large. If interested, contact any board member, or me.

Remember the easiest way to maintain social distancing is to go fishing. Simply swing your 9ft 5wt in the direction of the person crowding you and you’ve exceeded the six-foot minimum distance.

Here are some of the articles in this month's Newsletter.
  • Public Policy – Waters of Arizona Update;
  • Review of 2021 Legislation;
  • SRP Forest Revitalization Program
  • Diversity and Inclusion – A salute to diversity in all manners!
  • Women’s Activities To Check Out
  • ZGTU joins AFC for Salt River Clean Up and Fishing day;
  • ZGTU and AZFishbook sponsor December Salt River Saturdays
  • ZGTU and AZFishbook sponsor Casting Classes
  • AZTIC & schools cancel 2020-2021 Trout In the Classroom Program
  • Other Angling organizations
  • ZGTU and affiliates calendar 
  • Follow ZGTU on Social Media 
 We’ve gone virtual!!!!
Please join us for our next board tele-conference meeting:
Thursday, January 7, 2021 7:00 - 8:45 PM
Join Zoom Meeting here

Meeting ID: 862 8257 4742
Password: ZGTU2020
 
 
Until then, 
Happy New Year, and Tight Lines. 
 
Alan Davis

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Surface Water Protection Program Framework

ADEQ held a stakeholder meeting on December 15th to update the public on the latest iteration of their proposed legislation to protect Arizona’s surface water as the federal government’s protections have been severely curtailed by the Navigable Waters Rule. Of particular interest is a newly published map showing the waters they are proposing to protect. AZTU, as well as several of the Chapters in the state submitted comment letters after the last update. Included in our comments were concerns about their plan to not protect ephemeral streams and to not manage dredge & fill operations. In their most recent plan, they clarified what dumping in ephemeral streams will require permit. Essentially, if the ephemeral stream is connected to a protected body of water or is connected to groundwater, permits will be required. They did not specify any plans for managing dredge & fill, but expressed openness to considering limitations. More information is available at: https://azdeq.gov/permittee-meeting-resources

2021 Legislative Sessions

The 2021 Arizona legislative session will convene on January 13th. The Republican advantage in both chambers will remain after the election. Rusty Bowers will be Speaker of the House and Karen Fann will be President of the Senate. Senate President Fann has predicted that legislation associated with voting processes will consume a lot of the Senate’s time. There were a number of pieces of proposed legislation in the 2021 session related to public lands and water conservation that were left in limbo with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect many of these to resurface in the 2021 session. More to follow after the session begins.

National Park Service (NPS) Incentivized Harvest Program at Lee’s Ferry

In the NPS’s efforts to protect the native humpbacked chub, they are offering a $25 bounty on each brown trout over 6 inches caught in the Lee’s Ferry section of the Colorado River. While AZ trout Unlimited is committed to catch and release, we view this as a less threatening option to repeated electro-shocking to remove the brown trout. Additional information is available at: https://www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/brown-trout-harvest.htm

SRP Forest Revitalization Collaborative Program

For as little as $3 a month you can support SRP's efforts to revitalize our forests, prevent wildfires and protect the water you drink. SRP matches customer contributions up to $200,000 per year and uses 100% of funds for forest restoration projects. SRP customers can sign-up on SPR’s Watershed Management site: https://www.srpnet.com/water/watershed-management.aspx

AZTU-PPC 2021 Strategy Summit

The Public Policy Committee will be conducting our second annual Strategy Summit on January 23rd from 9:00 to 11:00 via a virtual meeting. If you are interested in participating, please contact Tom Osterday at publicpolicychair@zgtu.org.
The AZTU Public Policy Committee (PPC) hosts a virtual meeting on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 until 8:00 PM. If you are interested, please contact Tom Osterday at publicpolicychair@zanegreytu.org

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION - DEI Comes In Many (Sometimes Surprising) Forms
We’ve made it to 2021 and it seems like an accomplishment. Who knew just getting through each day of the year would feel like this? With the new year, there isn’t some magic switch to reset everything, but we’ve learned how to better navigate new challenges and pivot in a thousand different ways. On a positive note, more and more people are learning about the joys of being in nature and the outdoors, which can only help the TU mission of conservation. 

However, with end of 2020 comes a time to say goodbye to a lot of things—both good and bad. One person we will bid a fond au revoir to is Bill Thorne, Trout Unlimited’s Co-Chair for the National Leadership Council’s DEI Workgroup. Wait! What? The Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup was a white guy? Yep! During his tenure as DEI Workgroup Co-Chair, Bill has been a candid sounding board, champion, supporter, leader and certainly a trendsetter for inclusion in all forms. In fact, in the November 2020 issue of Arkansas Wild magazine, Bill was featured for his impact in the fly fishing community, his conservation activism and his passion for inclusion. To read Bill’s story as a champion of the wild, click here: Bill Thorne: Arkansas Wild article

For a quick video recap and tribute of Bill’s many contributions to further TU’s DEI work, click here: DEI Squad Tribute To Bill Thorne

Do you know someone who embodies TU’s love of fishing and commitment to to coldwater conservation? Nominate them for the WE ARE TU blog series here: We Are TU nomination form

Want to learn more about Trout Unlimited’s DEI Workgroup? Join the call! No obligation—just listen in! We meet via Zoom every third Thursday of the month at 8:00 PM Eastern. It’s fun to listen to people from across the country talk about fishing, conservation and life! 
Women's Virtual Book Club: 

Book - The Laughing Trout by Jim Ure

Need more info? Contact Marcia Lescault: LescaultMarcia@yahoo.com  

Next conversation: Thursday, January 21, 6 PM

Join us whether you've read the book or not! 

Call In: 712-432-0220
(Access code: 4632017)
Carla Lemon, AFC hosting a Women's night in!
Calling all AZFC women members - we will be kicking off the AZFC Women's Initiative via Zoom on January 20, 2021 scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Bring your favorite drink, your favorite fly, wear your favorite fishing hat or shirt and share your stories on why those are your favorite to kick off the introductions to meet each other. Carla Lemon will be moderator and will be happy to share "fireside chats" of her experiences in Fly Fishing.  

Social media: Sara Westfall has started an Instagram page for Arizona Women of Trout Unlimited. Check it out: azwotu. If you're more traditional, try signing up for the private Facebook group: Arizona Women of Trout Unlimited.
#cleanmywater
Zane Grey Chapter Joins AZFishbook for Salt River Saturday and trash Clean-Up #Notinmywater
Saturday, December 12, and again on December 26, ZGTU joined with AZFishbook.com hosting a couple of Salt River Saturdays.

Everyone enjoyed the time outdoors, fishing and the opportunity to help clean up the river. We even had some visiting TU anglers from Oklahoma and Los Angeles. Below are some pictures of the events.
Photo Gila trout Hatch Magazine v Nov 2020
"The Plight of the Gila Trout"
The challenges to protect and restore the Gila trout are ongoing. A reflection on experiences of the fish and the angler is shared in the article written by Chris Hunt, Trout Unlimited’s Director - Digital Content, in his recent article “The Plight of the Gila Trout” in Hatch magazine. 
ZGTU Co-Hosts Casting Instruction
AZFishbook and ZGTU host Casting Instruction with FFI Casting Instructors
On Saturday, December 12, 15-students, along with four FFI casting instructors attended a half-day casting instruction. The classes were opened to the first fifteen, and the program "sold-out" quickly. The instructors seemed to have as much fun as the students. Stay tuned; we plan co-hosting more of these events in the coming months.
Pandemic Cancels Yet Another Event!
Trout In the Classroom Cancels the 2020-2021 School Year Program
There should be no surprise about the recent announcement regarding the cancellation of the Arizona Trout-In-the-Classroom (TIC) program for the remaining 2020 - 2021 school year. 

As mentioned in the July newsletter, due to the highly contagious Coronavirus (COVID-19), school administrations and teachers are overwhelmed with educating students with online training. This coupled with providing safety for teachers, volunteers and Arizona Game and Fish Department staff have been the major reasons for cancelling the program for the school year. 

We will make an announcement in August and advise all parties as to plans for the Arizona TIC program for the school year 2021 - 2022.

Until then, please contact a TIC volunteer or let us know at info@aztic.org if you have any questions or suggestions.

Arizona Game and Fish Department looked at the history of the Arizona program in their recent article "Hands-On Conservation". We intend to add more years to the successful program and joy to the students as soon as safely possible.

Did you know? ...

Five Things Your Fishing License Does for Conservation While You Catch Fish
  • Improve Fishing and Boating Access
  • Enhance Water Quality
  • Maintain Fish Habitat
  • Teach and Recruit New Anglers
  • Plan Long-Term Conservation
Now that winter has arrived; there are many fishing opportunities; don't miss signing up for the Trout Challenges in Arizona and in the West.
 
Arizona's Trout Challenge was developed to encourage anglers to learn more about fishing opportunities in the state. AZGFD manages many waters statewide to provide anglers the opportunity to catch several different species of trout, including two found only in the Southwest - the Gila Trout and Apache Trout.
 
There are two ways for anglers to complete the Challenge: Catch four species of wild trout in Arizona and catch at least six of the eight total species in Arizona. 
 
More information and to apply can be found at Arizona Trout Challenge.
 
The Western Native Trout Challenge - If you have been looking for another lifetime challenge to add to your list this could be it.
The Western Native Trout Challenge invites anglers to help celebrate our western legacy by catching native trout and char in each of the 12 participating western states, at their own pace. By attempting to catch 18 species throughout 12 states (at the master angler level) participants can enjoy the adventure of a lifetime!
 
Information and signup at Western Native Trout Challenge
Looking for a Fishing Opportunity?
Below is a list of fishing organizations in Arizona. Feel free to join, explore, visit their websites or attend a meeting to find out more information:
Organization
Arizona Flycasters Club
Sunnyslope Community Center | 802 E. Vogel Ave. Phoenix, AZ
Link To Website

Fly-Fishing Social Event night - 2nd Thursday of each month. Great speaker and awesome raffle. Donations support our Community outreach partners from Veterans to Youth activities.
Contact
Desert Fly Casters
Check website for details.

General meeting 2nd Wednesday of each month. There may be some exceptions so check website for details.
Sun City Grand Fishing Club
Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club
Payson Fly Casters
White Mountains Fly Fishing Club
http://flyfishingwm.com/
White Mountains Lake Foundation
AZFISHBOOK offers a variety of social activities. Listed below are some of the activities available.

Check out the AZFISHBOOK Groups at:

Looking for buddy to fish with?
Signup for AZFishBook Newsletter:
Committee Volunteers
As always, there are many opportunities to participate in the various activities and committees, make new friends and make a difference. For more information, visit our website at ZGTU Committees, contact us at Volunteer Interest Signup or contact any ZGTU Board Member for details.
Join Trout Unlimited Today!
Not a member yet? Looking for a gift idea?  Join today at Trout Unlimited!
REMEMBER:
Your Conservation License Plate Supports TU Programs
The Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation (AZSFWC) license plate fund is derived from the sale of wildlife conservation license plates and member organizations as well as non-member organizations are eligible to apply for those funds. 

The Arizona TU Council and Chapters have received funds over the past seven years in support of the Annual Native and Wild Trout Conferences and the Trout-In-the-Classroom programs.
 
The next time your registration comes up for renewal, choose the conservation license plate option at registration to show your support for conservation and our projects. 
Combined Calendar 
AZ Trout Unlimited & Chapters, Arizona Flycasters Club and several other area fishing and conservation calendars
You may access our calendar here
Zane Grey Trout Unlimited
Protect. Reconnect. Restore. Sustain. Conserving coldwater habitat in the desert southwest.