Alan Bray's GRTU Presidency: A Summing Up

Our April meeting will mark the end of two years of Chapter leadership by President Alan Bray. Alan has been charged with leading the Chapter through what has proven to be two of the most challenging years in its history. Under his direction the Chapter met those challenges and has set a direction for the future of the Chapter. Now, with the end of his term upon him, it's time to reflect on some of things that have happened under his leadership.

Alan's term began with turmoil in our lease access program. Record GRTU membership growth catapulted GRTU to the position of the nation's largest TU Chapter. Rapid growth in the lease access program led to complaints by lease property holders about the actions of some TU members, the loss of some river access areas, and the threatened the loss of other properties.

Under Alan's direction an Angler Education Program was created to educate all lease permit holders about GRTU and their responsibilities under the lease program privileges. This commitment to the education of those who join our programs is a legacy that will live on in Chapter philosophy.

Even with Alan's aggressive response by implementing the education program, we could not retain access to all properties. Record growth put additional pressure on the remaining access areas. Under Alan's leadership, the Chapter responded with the most dramatic expansion of river access ever implemented. A whole new section of the river, never before thought of or managed as trout habitat, was brought into our programs and developed into trout waters. This area is quickly becoming some of the best quality water on the river. Alan led us towards this new water. His foresight leaves its mark by the inclusion of this section by TP&W into the area proposed for designation as trophy trout water.

Alan also was responsible for directing the Chapter's support of proposed TP&W regulation changes. The impact that these regulations could have on the long­term future of this fishery, this community, and this economy was so immense that the debate of the proposal provided a turbulent ride. At times, emotions on all sides ran quite high. Yet Alan led the Chapter with a sense of purpose, focusing us on clearly stated objectives. He worked with people at all levels of the debate to find a solution that worked for all parties involved. Over the next few months, Alan will continue to lead us toward what we hope will be the most significant development in the history of the Guadalupe River trout fishery.

There is a long list of other Chapter milestones that we have reached under Alan's' watch-too many to mention them all-but here are a few that cannot be omitted:

All of these happened because Alan inspired a spirited group of people to get involved with Chapter projects. Membership interest and volunteer effort are at record levels. The quality of the people getting involved is high, following in the tradition of the quality individuals who inspired us by starting this chapter over 25 years ago. The increase in our numbers provides us with an opportunity to spread the TU message.

We have had a significant impact on the Guadalupe trout fishery. With leadership like Alan Bray has provided over the past two years, we can continue to make things happen. On behalf of the GRTU membership and those of us who have worked with him, we want to extend our appreciation to Alan for all that he has given of himself to GRTU as Chapter President.

[About the author : Jeff Schmitt is the outgoing Past President of GRTU and personally talked Alan Bray into taking the job. Upon reflection upon Alan's success over these past two years, the author takes full responsibility for all actions of President Bray during his term.]