July 2022 News & Events
Oh what fun we had at the 2022 Northwest Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Academy!!
Finally, after two years of no Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Academy due to Covid, we gathered in Lacy Washington at the Gwinnwood Camp the last full week in June. With 4 returning students working as "ghillies" (In Scotland and Ireland : a fishing or hunting guide) and 8 young first time students, an incredible team of volunteers worked to teach them as much as they could learn in 1 week about our watersheds, fish, aquatic insects, water safety, accountability and the natural world around them, fly tying and fly fishing. What an incredible group of youngsters this was and a great experience!! I was so fortunate to attend and help out.

Huge THANKS to our amazing outgoing co-directors from FFI (Fly Fishers International) and both TU members - Mike Clancy & Jim Brosio for their 18+ years of running this camp. These two guys have so much knowledge about running this camp that we are glad they will be around next year on an advisory capacity!! Their dedication and love of these youths really shined through the whole time!!

Extremely grateful for the new co-directors stepping up to take over - John Gravendyk (WCTU Youth Education Chair) & from the Icicle Valley TU Chapter - Bruce Merighi & from FFI Carol Anderson. This Youth Camp is an amazing collaboration with FFI and WCTU; FFI has provided years of invaluable support to the program. Thank you to all the FFI team!!! We are so proud of this partnership and look forward to next year!! Of note the work has already started & we are planning this camp for 2023, which includes re-building the website. So in a few months we will link you all up to the new website so you can keep tabs on this program for 2023! Stay Tuned!!

Special thanks to the parents of these teens for trusting us in their care and education; and a special thank you to all our volunteers who made this program work this year!!
Matt Tuttle, Camp Director, Robert Gerlach, Steve Jones IFFF Certified Casting Instructors, Ron Holtcamp - Olympia Chapter Trout Unlimited, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Janet Shimpf, Fly Tying Instructor & Commercial Fly Tyer, J. Michelle Swope- Fly Tying Demo and Instruction, Oly Women on The Fly & Olympia TU Chapter, WDFW enforcement officers, & Joshua Howen and Sarah Ashworth - Olympia TU Chapter for feeding the camp in an outstanding BBQ on Friday night!!

Finally, A HUFE Thank you to all our donors from both TU and FFI chapters across our state; Fly Fishing Clubs and individuals here in Washington - without your donations we could not provide this opportunity in Youth Education!!
Pat Hesselgesser - WCTU - chair
WCTU Launches ‘Strategic Relationship’ w/ the Mt.Baker Snoqualmie National Forest!
On Sat. July 16 the Washington Council of Trout Unlimited conducted a BAT training program in the Darrington area to kick off a new ‘strategic partnership’ with the Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest. Richard Vacirca, ‘Watershed and Fisheries Program Manager’ for the Forest Service (seen in photo above using the map taped to the wall explaining to everyone what we would be doing, where and why) describes their strategic partnerships as being based on ‘common interests.’ They have similar working relationship with other organizations such as the Stillaguamish Tribe and the National Park Service.  This kickoff event was part of a large-scale effort to restore and improve a section of the Forest that drains into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, with special attention to the headwaters of the storied steelhead stream Deer Creek.

The event also included Greta Smith, the Darrington District Ranger, Dan Rankin, mayor of Darrington, Brenda Medina of the Wilderness Society, two F. S. interns, as well as 5 BAT trainees and several current BAT team members. The class was taught by T.U. culvert guru Luke Kelly. We are so grateful to have Luke's talent in the BAT program!! Thank-you Luke!

Both Mayor Rankin and Brenda Medina are also members of the Darrington Collaborative, a group dedicated to keeping the forest products industry in Darrington healthy in a sustainable way. For more information about the Collaborative, you can check out their website: HERE
Read More about Darrington project.
Dean Campbell, North Sound TU member and the WCTU volunteer financial reviewer, will be heading up this project moving forward.
Thank-you Dean!!
If you have ever wondered what a day in BAT training might look like, read our very talented social media coordinator & website content manager's account of her Day in BAT Land in Darrington!!
Thank you Dannon Engquist for sharing your story!
"Traveling to Darrington for Barrier Assessment Training was a journey that ended up being full of unexpected meaning for me. Memories of a land I had forgotten from childhood trips to Oso rose up around me in the form of mountains and general stores, rivers and bridges that we had floated under in tubes or rafts. Even the scent of the woods reminded me of warm summer days spent along the riverside, turning over rocks to see "periwinkles", which I now know are caddisflies, and picking blackberries for my grandpa's famous pies. It was just as striking to see how much had changed in my absence, too; the Oso slide, visible from the highway, was a stark and foreboding reminder of how very alive and dynamic this landscape was. 

At Moe's, a delightful cafe with friendly staff and great places to spend time with family and friends, the newest set of trainees and experienced assessors met under sunny skies, eager to learn. After introductions and with a game plan in mind, we traveled to our first culvert. Though eager, I was a little nervous--- my background was primarily in human-facing, customer service-type roles and technology rather than field work, but this turned out to be no problem at all! Willingness to learn and to do a little forest exploration with integrity are all that are needed to help this cause.

At our first stop, we learned about the equipment we would be using, the process of assessing a culvert, and things to look out for during assessments. All the while, we were surrounded by nearly silent forest, with only the occasional passing car to remind us we were in a public space. Dividing into groups, some of us navigated down to the culvert, while others wrangled the data, and collectively bonded over the beauty of the place found ourselves in. 

Our next two stops were equally stunning, and through our work and our conversations, it was clear what we were doing was vitally important. Although many of us were interested in helping and protecting fish, learning the history of undersized culverts causing flooding, breaking down roadways, and destroying surrounding habitats, made it clear that this service is crucial not only for conservation and restoration, but the safety of our fellow adventurers and recreationalists." Photo & article By Dannon Engquist with permission.
Spotlight On Chapters
Seattle Cascade Chapter - Is Back!!
Saturday August 20th Event!!
WCTU is so excited to announce the Seattle Cascade Chapter is coming back after two long years of Covid and no events. Please come out and support the chapter and join the fun!! All are invited, even if this isn't your chapter or you are not a TU member......Join the fun and help the Chapter succeed!!
The event will be held at the
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park and we can’t wait to meet you—all of you!—for a day of fishing, community, and conservation! Come join us from 8 am to 1 pm. Everyone of every age is welcome.

We’ll start the day with fishing the beach for sea run cutthroat and coho salmon, have a scavenger hunt and coloring pages for the young (or young at heart), host a beginning fly casting clinic for women at 11:00. After having fun together on the water we’ll thank the beach by cleaning it up.

We will also have volunteers present to discuss issues such as the Lower Snake River Dams and our work with WCTU BAT (Barrier Assessment Team). 
Coming Back after Covid is tough, but we are up for the challenge! However, we still need your help to get this chapter revitalized and active.

Maybe you are one of the nearly 700 members of this chapter but have never attended an event? It's a great way to not only support your TU chapter, but give something back to the community. Come help us clean up the beach, learn something new and have fun!!
Please consider joining us - We’d love to see you!
For more information on this event and others in the Seattle, Edmonds, Redmond area please visit the
Seattle Cascade TU Chapter Website HERE
Lower Snake River Dams
The WA Council of TU along with TU state councils from Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming submitted a comment letter to Senator Murray and Governor Inslee on their recently released Lower Snake River Dams: Benefit Replacement Draft Report. 

A HUGE Thank you to Andrew Kenefick, WCTU co-chair Advocacy Committee, for all his work putting this letter together!!
You can read the letter HERE

We continue to push forward with our campaign to urge President Biden and congress to address the urgent need to prevent the extinction of these iconic salmon and steelhead and breach the 4 dams of the lower Snake River. If you would like to join this grassroots team please contact us HERE.

Want to know more?? Click Here
WCTU Advocacy Committee is following these headline issues:
Click on the blue or green links for information
*Salmon Recovery & SMA/GMA
*Warm Water Fish Policy
*Enloe Dam Removal
*Nelson Dam Puyallup River
*Electron Dam

If you would like to join the advocacy team and represent your chapter or just find out more about all these issues in our state; please contact the
WCTU AC Co-Chair - Andrew Kenefick Here
WCTU Annual State Council Meeting in Ellensburg Saturday 9/17/2022
We are Gearing Up For Our First In-Person State Council Meeting in over Two Years!! Chapter & Council leaders will convene in historic Ellensburg, WA with the beautiful Yakima River!

DATE: Meeting Date Saturday 9/17/2022- 8:30am -3:30pm
Yakima River Headwaters TU Chapter Hosting the event with meeting facility, morning coffee and lunch!
LOCATION: Odd Fellows Lodge -Address: 307 N Pine St, Ellensburg, WA 98926 

Friday 9/16/2022 6PM - no-host pizza/beer get together for those arriving early - we will meet at Cornerstone Pie outdoor patio around 6pm for socializing, food and laughter!!
Address: 307 E 5th Ave Ellensburg 

Sunday - Stay over & Enjoy Fly Fishing the beautiful Yakima River
If you would like to attend please check with your chapter leadership to volunteer as a chapter representative and check our website to register in August. We will have more details regarding lodging and fishing on our website event posting. For more information or questions contact us HERE.
Not a TU Member Yet?
Support your cold water conservation for future generations and become a Trout Unlimited member today! Your membership helps support so many conservation efforts around our state. Annual memberships start at $17.50 Click HERE to find out more. If you don't know your local chapter name just put unknown and you will be placed in your closest chapter.
Looking for something to do this summer?

Contact your local chapter of Trout Unlimited and ask how you can help get involved. There is so much happening around the state that is fun, educational, supports conservation, and advocates for the fish we love. We even get out on the water and hold fly fishing events!! So check in with your chapter - you can find them on our website HERE
Check out our video and send it to someone you know to show them who we are and what we do! WATCH HERE
A Message from the Council Chair
We have a very important Volunteer Council Position Open - we are seeking a new Membership Chair.
You can read about the duties of this position HERE.
We want to share your chapter events and important conservation work in this newsletter. Spread the word across the state about fun and informative events you are hosting - like the ones above. Let us know how your events turned out so we can share your stories!!
Engagement is the way to Grow your chapter!! Learn more HERE
So let us help you spread the word about your events and good work!!
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