From the President...

With this year’s stocking program well under way, we now have 6000 pounds of fat, feisty rainbows in the river, and several more stockings planned. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Scott Graham for the fine job he has done acquiring lease sites for the program this year.

If you have not been out to visit some of the new sites, you should do so. There has been some fine fishing water added to our already impressive list of sites, with some old-timers welcomed back into the program.

If you were at the last meeting, you know it was well attended, with almost 200 members on hand for Harry Lane’s presentation on how to be a more successful trout fisherperson.

The membership voted overwhelmingly to keep in place the Chapter’s catch and release policy, with some suggestions that we consider incorporating a barbless hook rule to complement catch and release.

Upcoming events include an angler mentor program proposed by Alan Bray as a fund raiser for GRTU. Be sure and read Alan’s article for all the details. Other than the January meeting we also have "Kid Fish" in New Braunfels in early January. If you can volunteer for any of these efforts please contact Stacy Lynn.

I would like to welcome Doug Kierklewski, replacing Ken Rupkalvis, and Pace Bonner, replacing Harry Lane, to the GRTU Board of Directors. Volunteerism is always appreciated, and to serve on the board shows a true commitment to the organization and the fishery.

Be sure to read the article on the Guadalupe River trout fishery in the current issue of TROUT magazine.

At Issue: Professional Guides

At the last board meeting a couple of Board members voiced their concerns about the recent article in TROUT magazine generating interest in the Guadalupe River from professional fishing guides.

This is an issue that the Board of Directors has grappled over for at least the last five years, without being able to reach a consensus. At issue is whether to allow members to use a guide who is a GRTU member on our lease access sites. It appears to me that the only solution to this issue is to let the membership decide what it would like the board to do.

Personally, I do not feel strongly for the prohibition against using fishing guides or letting

members use fishing guides. The argument against allowing members to utilize a fishing guide is the fear of creating a San Juan–style fishery, where we would have members competing with fishing guides for space on the river. On the other side of the argument there are those that believe the ability of members to use a fishing guide on our lease sites would be a good and valuable service to the membership.

The way our rules are worded now tends to alienate vendors and others, such as the Texas Parks & Wildlife, who view it as a public fishery. I believe that we could place rules and restrictions on the use of our leases by professional fishing guides that would reduce potential conflict to a minimum. Possibilities include:

My first concern is that the needs and wishes of the membership be addressed and adhered to by the board, not that the wishes of the board be projected onto the membership.

If you are a lease card holder and are not going to be at the January meeting please mail me your thoughts and opinions on this subject to: Billy Trimble, 3601 Lovage Dr., Austin, TX. 78727, or E-mail me at billtrim@jumpnet.com

Please include your lease access member number. I will not accept anonymous responses or responses without membership numbers.

At the meeting I will ask for a show of hands on the issue and have a survey there for you to fill out.

Statewide News

The Texas Parks & Wildlife trout stocking program kicked off in early December. The Guadalupe was among the first sites stocked. The river is scheduled to get over 16,000 TP&W trout.

Steve Magnalia, biologist with TP&W has been named to the District Supervisor position for our district. Steve has been an excellent advocate for the Guadalupe fishery over the past few years, and we congratulate him on his promotion.

Nationwide

TU’s 39th Annual National Convention will take place August 13-16, 1998 at Harrah’s Reno in Reno, Nevada. For information, contact www.cwo.com/~trout/reno98 on the Internet or call Matt Holford at (702) 753-9676.

Also, TU announced a Shared Streams program, a partnership with private forests. This is a conservation effort to rebuild, enhance, and protect watersheds on private land. For details visit the TU Web page: http://www.tu.org

See you on the river.

Billy Trimble, President

Guadalupe River Chapter, Trout Unlimited