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 Post subject: Smith River TU meet, Thurs, Dec 1st, Rania's uptown Martinsv
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:38 am 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 387
Smith River Trout Unlimited will meet at Rania's Restaurant in uptown Martinsville, on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 6:30 pm. Scott Smith, DGIF Biologist for the Smith River will highlight the evening by giving a summary of the data collected during the August 2011 sampling. He will offer his assessment of the fishery and what steps are needed to keep things moving in a positive direction.

In addition to Scott's presentation we will have the opportunity to meet the newly assigned Henry County Conservation Police Officer (Game Warden), Scott Terry and his Field Training Officer, Brandon Edwards. We will also be joined by Robert Tucker, who was recently hired in a joint arrangement between TU and DGIF as the Virginia Trout In the Classroom Coordinator. All three will be given the opportunity to introduce themselves.

In addition to Scott's presentation and a few words from our other guests we will discuss the following:

Our final meeting of the year will be a wrap-up of what the chapter has accomplished in the past year.

We will also nominate and elect our leadership for 2012. (Nominations from the floor)

The leadership team will take a few moments to give a sense of direction for 2012. Suggestions and volunteers to chair specific programs are always welcome.

Any other business which would be of interest to the membership

You do not have to be a member of TU to attend our meetings.(You must be a member in order to vote on chapter business). Anyone who has an interest in the Smith River Fishery is encouraged to attend.

Rania's provides us with a meeting space with the expectation that the majority of attendees will purchase a meal. (Good food, moderate prices). Address is 147 E. Main St., Martinsville, VA 24112. It is in the historic district of Martinsville known as uptown as it sits on a hill.

For information contact Chapter Pres Darrin Doss (276)340-3193 admin@dossphoto.com Secy Al Kittredge, (910) 868-6235 aakitt@earthlink.net or check our website http://smithrivertu.com/index.html for more details and directions.

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 Post subject: Re: Smith River TU meet, Thurs, Dec 1st, Rania's uptown Martinsv
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:04 pm 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 387
Another reminder - This should be a good meeting. Great chance to learn more about the Smith River fishery - also opportunity to meet our new CPO (Game Warden) and our new TIC coordinator

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 Post subject: Re: Smith River TU meet, Thurs, Dec 1st, Rania's uptown Martinsv
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:39 am 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 387
Minutes of meeting held at Ranias' Restaurant in uptown Martinsville, on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 6:30 pmMeeting called to order by SRTU President Darrin Doss

Twenty- seven members and guests. Notable guests included:

Henry County CPO (Game Warden) Scott Terry and his field training officer CPO Brandon Edwards introduced themselves. CPO Terry recently transferred over to DGIF from the VA State Prison System. He is long time resident of Collinsville VA, a trout fisherman who knows many of the locals and the territory. He looks forward to working with Henry County residents and visitors as they enjoy their natural resources.

Rob Tucker, a recent hire in a joint arrangement between DGIF and TU as the Virginia Trout In the Classroom Coordinator introduced himself. There are now 100+ tanks throughout the state with 30+ of them located in the local region thanks to Smith River TU member David Jones who thought he was signing on for one tank a few years ago.
Reading of previous meeting minutes suspended in the interest of saving time - minutes previously emailed to folks on secretary's distribution list.

Treasurer Paul Fogle reported the Chapter checkbook balance is $862.22. We also took in $100.00+ via our Dec 1st 50/50 raffle. The raffle helps defray the cost of meals for guest speakers and special guests which are picked up by the Chapter. A full accounting can be obtained from Paul.

Meeting Theme and Feature Presentation:

Scott Smith, DGIF Fishery Biologist for the Smith River gave a summary of the data collected during the 2011 sampling. When the data is looked at over the long term, i.e. since 1999, the trend is downward; however there have been pluses and there is reason to hope recent changes have slowed the trend and perhaps even resulted in a slight improvement. Highlights of presentation included:

Slight increase in the number of brown trout seen throughout the river.

The closer to the dam the more fish. - Personal note, I helped shock up over 1000 fish from one sampling site last August. Lots of fish - just not a lot of big fish.
Records show that during years of low generation the fish do well. - This includes forage or bait fish. In other words, when there is not a lot of water and Philpott cranks up only one turbine the trout, forage fish and insect life do well. When they use both turbines on a daily basis they do not.

12+ inch brown trout have been on a downward trend since 1999. This has been a chronic problem caused by less than ideal low water temperatures, drastic temperature spikes, roiling and displacement of the riverbed, all of which have reduced or eliminated forage fish and insect life. Given the low water temperatures and lack of food the brown trout are always in winter mode and on a starvation diet. Without a change at the dam things are not going to improve.

Growth rate of brown trout increases the further you go downstream of the dam. This appears to be a direct correlation with the amount of food available as the amount of forage fish also increases.

There is hope - No one is sure exactly why but the recent policy of ramping the start up and shut down of the turbines coincides with antidotal evidence of "better hatches" during past two years. There has also been a very slight increase in forage fish collected during recent samplings. The trout collected in 2011 were the healthiest seen in several years.

Two years ago DGIF started sampling a new site below the Martinsville Dam. They also marked and transferred some brown trout from up near the dam to below Martinsville. Several of these marked fish were collected again this year. The practice of moving fish from the upper river to below Martinsville Dam will continue.

The recent slot limit (+10inch trout protected until they exceed 24 inches) will help but do not expect much more than a 1-2 inch increase. There just is not enough food and brown trout succumb to natural mortality at 7 years. With good food they will reach 16-20 inches at 5 years - unfortunately, in the wild they die much sooner.
Supplemental feeding would be an ongoing project and cost prohibitive.

Scott suggested the Chapter get involved with stream restoration on the tributaries that flow into the Smith. Town, Blackberry, Reed and Daniel Creeks could all use some bank work. Grant money is available if a sponsor such as TU were to locate landowners willing to grant access and agree to participate in such things as fencing off the creek and planting of trees.

A suggestion came from the floor that DGIF coordinate their stocking with the generation schedule so that when rainbows are stocked at the bridges and other easy access sites the water is flowing which will hope distribute the fish. Scott and several in attendance thought this was entirely feasible and a good idea. The SRTU leadership will follow through with emails and a letter to DGIF in an attempt to make this happen.

Old Business:Nomination and election of officers for 2012 - Shane Pinkston nominated and it was voted by acclimation the following individuals for 1012 leadership roles:

Darrin Doss - President (incumbent)
Lisa Hall - Vice President (new to position)
Paul Fogle - Treasurer (incumbent)
Al Kittredge - Secretary (incumbent)

Chapter President Darrin Doss thanked Shane Pinkston for his service as Vice President and for always being there when we needed someone to fill a slot or chair a committee.

Chapter President Darrin Doss also appointed David Jones as the Easement / Stream Restoration coordinator.

New Business: Member Larry Hulett who has participated in recent Project Healing Waters events asked it the Chapter would consider sponsoring such a program. He volunteered to seek more information and will provide it to the leadership. Chapter President Darrin Doss gave the go ahead for such an inquiry.

Next meeting will be on Thursday, March 1, 2012 - Program to be announced as soon as finalized. Chapter President Darrin Doss plans to call an executive meeting shortly after the first of January where a plan will be made for activities throughout the year. In addition to a featured program this proposed 2012 agenda will be presented at the March 1st meeting.

Any errors or omissions in these minutes are entirely mine. Please refer any comments or questions concerning these minutes to the SRTU Secretary aakitt@earthlink.net or telephone 910-868-6235

_________________
I eat - Therefore I hunt and fish


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