December 2018 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of SRTU meeting held at Rania’s Restaurant in uptown Martinsville on Thursday, December 6, 2018, at 6:30 pm
Meeting called to order by SRTU Vice President Eric Tichay
24 members and guests present
Reading of previous minutes suspended in the interest of saving time – minutes previously posted on chapter Website / Facebook page and emailed to folks on secretary’s distribution list.
Treasurer Roy Ford reported that check book balance on August 31st was $1,834.48. We received .90 interest giving us a balance of $1,835.38 as of the December 6th meeting.
Old Business: VP Eric Tichay reviewed major events the chapter has participated in during the past year. These included- Leadership participated in several meetings at the state and national level; Staffed booths at 4 outdoor festival events; Enjoyed 2 group fishing trips; Co-hosted BRHI Veterans fishing day; Conducted 2 river clean-ups; Sponsored the Ferrum College 5 Rivers Fishing Club; Assisted DGIF with several electronic samples of the Smith River; Held 4 quarterly meetings with each having a featured theme / speaker; Received 4 donated rod & line combos from L.L. Bean which are being put to use in casting demonstrations and as loners during chapter fishing events.
New Business:
Election of Officers for 2019: There being no additional nominations to the proposed slate these individuals were elected by voice vote for the following positions:
President – Eric Tichay
Vice President – Joe May
Secretary – Doug Jessie
Treasurer – Roy Ford
Committee Chair Positions: Newly elected SRTU President Eric Tichay asked for volunteers to assume responsibility as chairpersons of several standing committees. Our thanks to the following individuals for stepping up:
Communications – Doug Jessie
Conservation – Zach Gossage
Education – Jeff Deering
Membership – Jason Collins
Veteran Service Partnership – Al Kittredge
Tentative Agenda of events for 2019: The leadership will meet in early January 2019 to propose an agenda for the coming year. All of our events are open to and require support from the membership. You will not only have fun, come away with a feeling of accomplishment but you’ll also be rubbing shoulders with fellow fishermen and making connections and friendships. We’ll publish the addenda soon after it is drafted and formally propose it to the membership at our March 6th meeting. Right now we have the following events on our tentative schedule:
Jan 25-26 – Angler’s Choice Open House, Martinsville, VA
Mar 07 – SRTU Regular Meeting, Philpott Dam Project Update
Apr 20 – Kids Fishing Day, Mayo River Trail, Stuart, VA
May 3-5 – 2019 Southeast Regional Rendezvous, Dillard, GA
May 18 – Blue Ridge Heritage Veterans Fishing Day, Floyd, VA
Meeting Theme and Feature Presentation:
George Palmer, DGIF Fisheries Biologist assigned to the Smith River gave us his assessment of the Smith River Fishery. George pointed out that for the past 3 years there have been almost continuous flows from Philpott which has necessitated a change in sampling. The “barge” or wading method which pulled together biologists and volunteers from all over the state has not been possible. Luckily DGIF Region 2 recently acquired a raft which allows a small number of biologists to do a quick sample by “going with the flow”. Other biologists or volunteers follow the raft in canoes or kayaks to assist with “working up” the fish. There are computer models to help analyze the data.
In a nutshell the upper river is doing fine with the constant flows. Even with only one turbine the water is remaining cool enough. The lower river is a different story – one turbine is not pushing enough cold water downstream. Combine that with unusually warm days and the fish down there are in an almost constant state of stress. We did not shock up as many in the lower river as in the past and those we did collect were not as healthy looking.
You can see a video of George’s presentation in its entirety at
Only time will tell – DGIF will continue to sample and collect data using the raft. Anyone who would like to accompany them is welcome. The SRTU leadership usually gets a “heads up” when they are about to sample and will issue a call for volunteers. Volunteers must provide their own canoes or kayak and PFD.
Swap Table: We had several nice looking rods available on the swap table. Hopefully they went to a new home. If you have not been participating in the swap table you are missing an opportunity to turn a no longer used item into cash and a great chance to obtain a bargain. Here is how it works – Bring what you want to sell or trade. Slap your name and a price on it and recycle the stuff you don’t use or need. Look around for those “it was a good idea at the time” purchases you made but now reside in the back of your closet or garage. Be ready to haggle. Bring some extra cash and walk away with some neat “I need one of those” items!
Raffle: We had numerous items donated for our quarterly raffle – books, packets of flies, water bottles, etc. At least half those in attendance went away with something.
Next regular meeting will be on Thursday, March 6, 2019 6:30 pm @ Rania’s Chris Powell, Operations Manager for the USACOE at Philpott has agreed to give us an update on what is going on at Philpott Dam and offer his best guess as to what generation flows will look like during the upcoming spring and summer.
Any errors or omissions in these minutes are entirely mine. Please refer any comments or questions concerning these minutes to outgoing SRTU Secretary Al Kittredge, or telephone 910-868-6235
On a personal note I’d like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude for your indulgence and support for the past 20 plus years that I have filled an elected leadership role in SRTU. There have been a lot of changes since we rejuvenated the old Smith River TU way back then – most of them have been positive. I’ve made many friends and treasure each of them. I will continue to advocate for the fishery and hope you will as well. I am encouraged to see several new folks stepping up – we need that. God bless – stay safe and stay healthy. See you on the river!

Al Kittredge

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