From the President

This will be my last letter as president of the Guadalupe River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. It has been my privilege to serve this organization of committed individuals. It has especially been my pleasure to work with such a hard-working group of officers. I would like to extend a special thanks to Scott Graham, Stacy Trimble, Mike Scott, and Constance Whiston for their many hours of tireless work they do to keep this chapter moving forward.

Equipment for Wardens

Two years ago the Texas Parks & Wildlife had just approved a new special trout regulation for the Guadalupe River, but compliance with the regulation has proven difficult to enforce.

In a conversation with the Enforcement Division of TP&W I asked if there was anything that GRTU could do to help them with enforcement of the regulation. Their response was a request for assistance purchasing specialized equipment, dry suits, and cold-weather paddling gear that would enable the wardens to utilize their kayaks during the winter months and be more visible on the river.

In response to the wardens’ request the GRTU Board of Directors authorized $2000 to purchase the equipment needed. This equipment will enable the wardens to better enforce the Special Trout Regulation during the winter months for years to come.

Minimum Sustained River Flow

Over the next few years this chapter faces the one of the biggest challenges it has ever undertaken. GRTU’s David Schroeder, chairperson of the River Flow Committee, is leading a cooperative effort by government, business, environmental, and outdoor enthusiasts to find a solution that would address everyone’s needs.

A unanimous vote at the January meeting by both the General Membership and Board of Directors passed Resolution 99-01 stating our support for Minimum Sustained Flows for the Guadalupe River. The goal is legislation on the federal level that would mandate a minimum sustained flow sufficient to maintain a maximum water temperature of 70°F at the second crossing, approximately 300cfs, in the critical hot dry summer months. We will need volunteers to preform certain tasks such as going to Senate Bill-1 public hearings concerning water issues. If you are able to help contact Alan Bray (brayfisher@aol.com) for meeting times and places. See David’s article in this issue for further details.

Clem Bird Honored

Clem Bird, long time board member and one of the founders of GRTU, was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership plaque in a ceremony in New Braunfels on February 12, 1999. In attendance were many longtime friends/fishing companions, family members, including children and grandchildren, officers, and board members of GRTU.

Clem was in fine spirits and was keenly interested to hear that the river has been fishing so well. Anyone interested in visiting or writing to Clem should contact Kirkwood Manor in New Braunfels, Texas.

Great Volunteer Turnout

At both the GRTU-sponsored Kidfish during "Troutfest" in New Braunfels and the WORD- sponsored (Water Oriented Recreation District) Kidfish at Sattler, GRTU volunteers turned out in force. It is this type of active membership that projects a good image in the community. Thanks to all who came out and helped.

Supporting Memberships Needed

If you are a member of the Trout Unlimited national organization and you live in Texas, whether in Amarillo, Beaumont, Brownsville, El Paso, or any other of the wonderful places in this great state, but not close enough to the Guadalupe River to join the Lease Access program, your help is still needed.

Join as a supporting member and your $10 donation will go a long way in helping to defray the cost of such things as producing and sending this newsletter that you receive. We need more supporting members, so JOIN NOW! Your help is needed.

Board News

A new officer position, Vice President of Membership, was created at the January board meeting, and Pace Bonner was appointed to that position. This action will help speed up the membership renewal process.

Board Members Retire

After many years of service, GRTU Board members Bob Story and Clem Bird are retiring from the board as their terms expire in April, and Pace Bonner is leaving the board to take on the new officer’s position of Vice President of Membership. Nominated to replace them are Mike Scott of Houston, Constance Whiston of Austin, and Steve Kauffman of San Antonio. Also leaving the board is Alan Bray whom I will be replacing as ex-officio member.

Members need to thank those who are leaving for the time and energy they donated to the chapter and take the time to meet the incoming nominees. There will also be a new slate of officers announced at the meeting.

TU National News

TU national convention is slated to be held August 17 thru 22, 1999 at the Copper Mountain Resort in Summit County, Colorado. Any one wanting to attend should make plans now.

TU has released its new report on whirling disease and it should be available in the near future. The U.S. Forest Service has announced a moratorium on building any new logging roads into roadless areas while the agency upgrades its roads policies.

The Clinton administration has proposed $100 million to aid in Pacific salmon restoration. For more details on these and other stories, go to the Lines to Leaders section of the TU Website (www.tu.org).

State & Local News

Guadalupe River cleanup has begun in earnest now as federally contracted work crews began work in March to remove the October ‘98 flood debris from the stream bed and river banks.

Those wishing to fish the Guadalupe River will need to take special care to avoid the areas being worked on.

Billy Trimble, President, GRTU