Maryland Chapter Trout Unlimited Fall/Winter Newsletter
Conserving, protecting and restoring Maryland’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds
Upcoming Events Don’t Miss January’s Annual “State of the Gunpowder” Meeting
This February, Float the Yellowstone with MDTU
Each January, MDTU celebrates the start of a new year of coldwater conservation and trout fishing by hosting a public panel discussion to assess the state of our home waters— the Gunpowder Falls. Join us at 7:30pm on January 15, 2014 to hear Mark Staley of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Gunpowder Riverkeeper and Backwater Angler owner Theaux Le Gardeur address the watershed’s health and challenges, including an analysis of the DNR’s latest electroshock population surveys. Bring your questions and participate in a Q&A following the presentation. The meeting will be held at Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Chesapeake Avenue.
The captivating film Where the Yellowstone Goes follows a 30-day drift boat journey down the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. Intimate portraits of locals in both booming cities and dusty, dwindling towns along the Yellowstone River illustrate the history and controversies surrounding this enigmatic watershed, leading to questions about its future. Connect with colorful characters, get lost in the hypnotic cast of a fly rod, and experience silhouetted moments of fireside stories on this heartfelt river adventure. Director Hunter Weeks presents a thoughtful exploration of life on America’s great undammed river, the Yellowstone. With Montana’s captivating scenery at the forefront, Where the Yellowstone Goes takes a closer look at the impact people have on each other and on our environment. MDTU presents the film at Baltimore’s Center Stage on February 1, 2014 at 7:00pm. Pre-show happy hour at 6:30pm. Buy tickets online at ticketriver.com, or in person at Backwater Angler, Great Feathers, or Tochterman’s.
Enjoying an early-December snow day, Baltimore City teacher and MDTU member Stephen Knott demonstrates that the Gunpowder is truly a year-round fishery. Learn more about our local tailwater’s seasons, sections, and secrets at the January MDTU meeting.
Inside... p. 2
Trout in the Classroom
p. 3 Casting on Campus New Web Site Now Live Restoration Run 2013
p. 4 The Marcellus Shale and Native Brook Trout Habitat Resource Committee Update
Connect with MDTU: mdtu.org facebook.com/marylandtu firstname.lastname@example.org
MD Trout Unlimited in the Community MD/DC Trout in the Classroom Now Reaches 72 Sites Statewide! by Tom Gamper Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a hands-on environmental education program in which students raise Kamloops rainbow trout from eggs to fingerlings right in their own classrooms, ultimately releasing the young fish into local watersheds. Students study stream habitats to inform management of water temperature and chemistry in their schools’ chilled tanks, learning to appreciate the fragility of water resources, and developing a strong conservation ethic and understanding of ecosystem connectivity along the way. Since MDTU began supporting TIC four years ago, the program has grown from four schools to fourteen in the Baltimore region. State- and district-wide participation has now expanded to seventy-two sites—sixty-eight schools and four outdoor education facilities. This remarkable growth can be attributed to the program’s proven curriculum with interdisciplinary components that can be easily introduced into a school’s academic offerings. Also contributing to this growth are Maryland’s systemic environmental literacy curricula requirements, which create a demand for high-impact, experiential programs like TIC.
Trout in the Classroom teacher Jodie Kavanaugh with students at Hamilton Elementary Middle School in Baltimore On the state level, TIC continues to receive indispensable assistance from Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Marshall Brown at DNR’s Albert Powell State Hatchery donates over 9,000 trout embryos to the program, and Freshwater Fisheries experts Rich Bohn and Mark Staley coordinate aquaculture and stocking permits for the raising and release of the fingerlings. This teamwork, embodied in the Connect with MDTU:
program, is due to the outstanding organizational skills of our state TIC liaisons, Jim Greene and Chuck Dinkel of the Potomac-Patuxent Chapter of TU. This duo has developed a comprehensive “how-to manual” for raising trout in Maryland classrooms and compiled an extensive list of troubleshooting best practices for addressing a wide array of technical problems. They have also assembled a seven-region “pony express” system for the annual delivery of the eggs to schools by TU volunteers. This summer, Jim Greene was awarded the prestigious national Trout Unlimited 2013 Youth Education Leadership Award for his commitment to TIC. Assisting Jim and Chuck in the Baltimore-region, the MDTU volunteer group is comprised of myself, Tom Rupp, Sean Beattie, Mollie Simpkins, Liz Smith, David Budniakiewicz, Jim Gracie, and Larry Maurer. The entire Maryland/DC effort remains the largest volunteer-based TIC program in the country, representing 2,263 TU volunteer hours in 2013. Our efforts are supported on the national level by Rochelle Gandour, Coordinator of Youth Education for national Trout Unlimited. The strength of TIC as a teaching tool is evident in the recognition it has received in participating schools. Rebecca Sanders of Crellin Elementary School in Oakland, Maryland, was one of eighteen U.S. teachers to receive a Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Her students have used TIC to focus on acid mine drainage and to study ecosystem management on Snowy Creek. Closer to home, Stephen Knott, a teacher at Armistead Gardens Elementary Middle School and MDTU member, was his school’s “Teacher of Year.” His classroom became a virtual Chesapeake Bay watershed in miniature—with some aquariums containing coldwater upstream species and others featuring brackish species of the Bay itself. He also maintained a web site and blog to chronicle the TIC project. Even more heartening is that both of these recognized individuals are teachers at Title 1 schools—that is, the majority of their students come from low-income households. The two main highlights of the TIC experience are the celebration of the eggs’ arrival each year and the subsequent release of the fingerlings. MDTU volunteers are critical to the success of both events.Volunteers deliver eggs in early January, planning trips strategically to minimize transit time from hatchery to classrooms. We assist releases in the spring by transporting the trout in aerated coolers to the release site and by hosting a fly-fishing demonstration station to complement stream ecosystem study stations. In 2013, 1,368 fingerlings were released by our local participants in Stony Run, Gwynns facebook.com/marylandtu
3 Falls, the lower Jones Falls, Dead Run, Herring Run, the Patuxent River and the Little Gunpowder Falls. Sometimes students are lucky enough to see an adult fish caught and released—a fun part of our volunteer effort. In this role, our fly boxes become books of knowledge, revealing what trout eat on a seasonal basis. Last year, as I explained that one fly imitated Ephemerella dorothea, the sulphur mayfly, I asked one of Stephen Knott’s students, also a MDTU City Catch program alumnus, what the word ephemeral meant. Without missing a beat, he replied, “short lived”. For this young student of coldwater conservation, the lessons of TIC—and of TU—have been anything but short lived. Additional MDTU volunteers are needed and welcome! If you are interested in assisting with TIC, please email Tom Gamper at email@example.com.
TIC Schools & Partners Schools: McDonogh School, Lutherville Lab School, Woodlawn Middle School, Sudbrook Magnet Middle School, Boys’ Latin School, Gilman School, Roland Park Public School, Hampden Elementary Middle School, Walter P. Carter Elementary Middle School, Hamilton Elementary Middle School, Armistead Gardens Elementary Middle School, Bel Air High School, Broadneck High School, Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center, Thomas Jefferson Elementary Middle School, Patterson Park Public Charter School, Greenspring Montessori School, and Jemicy Upper School Partners: Carnegie Institution for Science, the National Aquarium, Blue Water Baltimore, Parks and People Foundation, and Earth Force
Casting on Campus by Don Haynes In March, 2014, MDTU will be offering a four-session Introduction to Fly Fishing course at the Hunt Valley Campus of Baltimore County Community College. The lessons will cover gear, casting, streamside entomology and fly selection, reading the water, and an overview of coldwater conservation issues. The course includes four consecutive 6:30 pm Thursday classes at the Hunt Valley Center, beginning on March 6. The cost is just $49; course number is 75902; call 443 840-4700 to register. Spread the word to friends who would like to learn! No equipment required, thanks to BassPro and Tochterman’s Fly Shop. BassPro (Arundel Mills/Hanover location) donated six “Silver Doctor” fly outfits—5wt rod, reel, and carrying case—to MDTU to use in our education and outreach activities. Tochterman’s graciously stepped up to donate Sage fly lines and backing for the reels. This equipment will be used for the upcoming BCCC classes, and other future chapter programming, helping MDTU introduce fly fishing to new audiences for years to come. Connect with MDTU:
All New MDTU.org Now Live National TU recently introduced a brand new web site concept—an ambitious project that links individual TU chapter and council web sites across the country. The platform is designed to encourage individual users to contribute their own content, and interact with other members to share information and inspiration. MDTU was an early adopter of this new network, and now has our chapter site up and running.Visit mdtu.org to set up your profile, and begin contributing to this exciting project. Members can personalize their online experience by joining specific interest groups, selecting favorite streams, water gauges, etc. Everyone can post blog entries, upload photos, and start and join discussions about conservation, fly fishing, and other TU missionfocused topics. A short video available at tu.org (or vimeo. com/76164017) introduces the new features, and explains how to get started. As you create your account, be sure to join the Groups titled “Maryland 167” and “Mid-Atlantic Council MD9” to connect with our local TU community. Also, if you are active on Facebook, be sure to find and “Like” MDTU’s page. We post informative updates and news items on facebook.com/marylandtu frequently. And please consider “sharing” posts, especially those announcing meetings and events, to help us reach a larger public audience. See you online!
Restoration Run 2013 November’s Fourth Annual Restoration Run—a 5k race alongside the Jones Falls—was another big success, raising awareness and funds for MDTU’s conservation work, including the restoration project now underway on the Jones Falls itself. Congratulations and thanks to Race Director Jay Boynton, all of the volunteers and participants, and especially our generous sponsors: William T. Burnett & Co., Blue & Obrecht Realty, LLC, Holmatro, Inc., E.K. Fox & Associates, Ltd., Garrison Financial, LLC, The Warner Graham Company, Mount Washington Tavern, SC&H Group, Inc., Blackwater Environmental Group, Inc., Dean Gekas, DDS, PA, The Emmes Corporation, Louis Perkins, Long & Foster Realtors, Ecotone, Inc., Earlbeck Corporation, Mason & Carter, Inc., Kodiak Construction, Inc., Martin/Wight & Company, LLC, and The Brewer’s Art. In-kind donors include: Falls Road Running Store, Baltimore Coffee & Tea Company, Loane Brothers, Inc., Gaines & Company, and Visually Speaking.
MD Trout Unlimited and Conservation Western Maryland Brook Trout and Marcellus Shale Development In November, Maryland DNR hosted a GIS mapping workshop titled “Mapping Recreational Uses in Maryland’s Western Region—Informing Marcellus Shale Planning Efforts”. MDTU Board member Scott C. Scarfone represented our chapter at the session, along with members of the TU Mid-Atlantic Council, offering his expertise on brook trout resources in Garrett County. This was an important opportunity for MDTU to express concerns about the vulnerability and value of coldwater habitat in our state. The resulting data is now included in a document that will be used by state officials to establish policies intended to protect these special resources. Scarfone explains, “Our intent is to build a case to keep drilling and the associated development activities that come with it away from our precious recreational resources like our fabled brook trout streams and their fragile watersheds.” To volunteer to support our chapter’s ongoing efforts to protect brook trout habitat, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or join us at an upcoming meeting. For more information about Marcellus Shale development, and its environmental impacts, visit tu.org/tu-projects/eastern-shale-gas-development
Resource Committee Update by Brian Bernstein The MDTU Resource Committee is busy! With so many miles of coldwater streams just in Baltimore County alone, there are plenty of opportunities to fly fish as well as to help protect, conserve and restore these great resources. Current efforts (and priorities) include: •
Completion of Jones Falls Restoration Project: Committee members are working to help move the design process along to have permits in place by early spring. The removal of concrete in the existing channel will create additional natural channel along this segment of the Jones Falls. Ideally the project will be a showcase of what is possible to help wild
MDTU Board of Directors: President: Tom Starrs Vice President - Administrative: Don Haynes Vice President - Resources: Brian Bernstein Treasurer: Jay Boynton Secretary: Tom Rupp Meeting Programming & Speakers: Benson Everett Legg
trout thrive within a major metropolitan area. Actively identify other restoration projects for 2014 and beyond in the greater Baltimore County area and portions of Harford and upper Carroll County. Conduct an inventory of the chapter area using GIS technology to assess/identify habitat conditions to help prioritize ongoing needs and possible opportunities. Develop partnerships with other groups involved with coldwater resources including National TU, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Baltimore County Government, the National Aquarium, Irvine Nature Center, the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, and more. Continue to reach out to members and non-members alike interested in getting involved in conservation and restoration efforts.
It’s an exciting time to be involved with MDTU. There are unlimited opportunities to help out with the Resource Committee—and no experience is needed! This is a hands-on group with a role for everyone. Opportunities include, but are not limited to: • •
• • • •
Water quality monitoring Stream surveys—assessing More trout, less tires! MDTU Board member Scott Scarfone aquatic life indicators, including fish, insects, and removes an invasive species from a Baltimore County wild trout physical conditions Stream restoration planning stream. and construction General stream clean-ups and stewardship Riparian and buffer plantings Meetings with landowners and other stakeholders
If you are interested in joining our team or learning more, email Brian Bernstein at email@example.com. Happy Fishing, MDTU Resource Committee
Membership: Don & Norma Haynes Youth Education Coordinator: Tom Gamper Communications: Sean Beattie Gregory Davis Rich Dennison Louise Peltier Scott Scarfone Ex Officio: Jim Gracie, Brenda Foster MDTU’s General Meetings Newsletter Acknowledgments: Meetings feature guest speakers and are held on the third Wednesday of each Editor: Sean Beattie month from September through May, at Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Design and Layout: Christina Lyerly Chesapeake Avenue. Meetings begin at 7:30pm and are free and open to the Symbols: UMCES IAN Image Library public; all are welcome. mdtu.org facebook.com/marylandtu firstname.lastname@example.org