From the President

New Database Coming

We are currently working on "online" renewal. This program should be up by spring '01 and will allow GRTU members to pull up their own information from our Website using a password and change any information—address, telephone, e-mail, etc.. You will also be able to renew your membership online using a credit card through a secure connection. This should take some of the load off our gracious volunteers who have to sort through the mass of information that flows in every year concerning membership.

Right now, if you are online and we don't have your info, check the Website (www.grtu.org), and click on "changes" to add yourself to the list.

Also, to cut down on postal expenses and conserve paper, all members who are on line will be receiving the newsletter electronically. This should be up by the next newsletter.

TPWD To Conduct

Economic Surveys

For the next few months TPWD will be collecting names and addresses to take a survey of the fisher people of the Guadalupe River. If you see a TPWD Survey Clerk, please cooperate and let them get your information. They will be at public access sites as well as GRTU lease sites.

On the National Front

Colorado Ends Stocking of

Whirling Disease-Infected Fish

Colorado Trout Unlimited applauded the November decision by the Colorado Wildlife Commission to adopt a new whirling disease policy that will end the stocking of infected fish in Colorado's trout streams and lakes. Under the policy, such stocking would remain tightly restricted through 2002 and be terminated in 2003.

"We're delighted that the Wildlife Commission has voted unanimously to make resource protection its top priority," said Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU) President Tom Krol. "This decision sends a strong message that restoring the health of Colorado's rivers and streams will get the attention it deserves."

"We've long believed that stocking infected fish is a poor way to address Colorado's whirling disease problems," added CTU Executive Director David Nickum. "By adopting its new policy, the Wildlife Commission will now be able to focus on the real task at hand: producing disease-free fish for Colorado's stocking programs."

The new Wildlife Commission policy came in response to Division of Wildlife (DOW) studies linking the continued stocking of infected fish with higher rates of infection, based on samples of both water and fish. This groundbreaking research also found that infection levels can drop when the stocking of infected fish is discontinued.

"We may never eliminate the whirling disease parasite from Colorado's waters," said Krol, "but ending the stocking of infected fish can reduce infection and give our wild trout a fighting chance against this disease."

DOW research has also helped to identify key areas within some watersheds where infection is especially severe. It may be possible to develop projects to control these "hot spots" for disease. One such project is underway on the Frying Pan River, where Trout Unlimited has provided funding to support DOW efforts in developing filters to capture whirling disease spores from the outflow of infected ponds along the river before they can reach the Frying Pan itself.

"These stocking changes are a major step forward in the Division's battle against whirling disease, but they are only one step," said Nickum. "It is vital that efforts continue on hatchery cleanup, public education and habitat improvement to address disease 'hot spots'. The war against whirling disease must continue on all of these fronts."

Scott Graham, GRTU President