SRTU Dec. 6, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Smith River Trout Unlimited, Chapter #264

Basset/Martinsville, VA

Minutes of meeting held at Ranias restaurant in Martinsville, on Thursday, December 6, 2012, at 6:30 pm

Meeting was called to order by SRTU President Darrin Doss.

Approximately 18 members and guests present.

Previous meeting’s minutes were not read. They had been emailed to those on the secretary’s distribution list.

Treasurer Paul Fogle was absent due to health matters. We wish him a speedy and complete recovery. Scott Griffin had already met with him and taken over the duties. Scott and Al reported the purchase of two tables for use at club functions. Cost was $86.63. We also paid $10 for our speaker’s dinner. We took in $120 for the raffle of a 8/9 wt. Allen Fly Fishing Alpha II reel. Roy Ford held the winning ticket. Thanks to Justin Geisel at Allen for their support. After the raffle and expenses, the checkbook balance was $1,388.46.

Old Business:

Darrin gave us a quick rundown of club activities for 2012. A list follows:

• We talked to a lot of politicians this year about the Smith, as a fishery and as an economic engine. We had a lot of face time with Charles Poindexter and Morgan Griffith in particular.
• The club membership topped 100 members. We still struggle to draw over a quarter of the members to meetings and events.
• Facebook is up to 70 followers. Newsletter goes out to 180.
• We participated in the Smith River Fest and Philpott Expo.
• The club participated in the annual VDGIF stream sampling and Trout In The Classroom.
• We adopted the entire 30 miles of the Smith River from Philpott Dam to Mitchell Bridge. We helped spearhead the largest river cleanup on the Smith, ever.
• We now own a tent, banner and tables for future events as well as a donated projector screen.

• In the three previous meetings, we had a fly tying session headlined by Paul Gruver, a water quality presentation by Mary Dail and Drew Miller of DEQ, and an overview of Philpott Lake/Dam by Rocky Rockwell, Philpott Operations Project Manager.

New Business:

The annual 2013 River Cleanup will be one week before the River Fest, just as it has occurred in the past. The cleanup will be on August 3, the River fest is the 10th. Put both on your calendars, please. The cleanup will not be quite as ambitious this year, but still important. Details will be announced later.

Elections of new officers were held. Your new officers are: President, Shane Pinkston; Vice President, Al Kittredge; Secretary, Doug Jessie; Treasurer, Scott Griffin. Shane spoke briefly and stressed that he believes in delegating and is looking forward to people stepping up to lead projects/events. Many thanks went out to Darrin, Paul and Lisa Hall for their service. Thanks to Al for continuing to lead. Suggestions for programs, speakers, etc are encouraged.

Darrin agreed to continue to host the SRTU website and our Facebook page.

Feature Presentation:

Dan Wison, VDGIF Regional Fish Biologist, joined us to give a PowerPoint presentation on the 2013 stream sampling. He shared with us the new data as well as historical data so we could see how the fiver was changing, or not.

• There is an abundance of one year old fish in the upper river. The 70 +/- days that the generators were down for in the late winter/early spring allowed the new fish to grow and flourish. Usually most of the new fish get flushed down before they have a chance to grow.
• The fish population is still very large below Philpott Dam, and it goes steadily down as you go downstream.
• There is no successful reproduction detected below the Martinsville dam.
• The size of the fish in the upper river continue to be small. They rarely top 10”. The bulk of the population is trending smaller. Not a good sign.
• The larger fish all below Martinsville dam. The percentage of 15” or more fish has increased slightly.
• Because of the large population above Martinsville, and the lack of reproduction below, they moved 343 fish downstream and released them this year. In 2010, they moved 160 fish. In 2011, they did not move any. Of the fish they sampled this year, and in 2011, 26% were found to be clipped fish. Good results. All of these fish had there adipose fin clipped before release.

• They only sample one location below Martinsville at the first canoe ramp. Maybe we can get them in a lower spot to sample, too?
• Age and growth rates were not sampled this year. But he suspects it hasn’t improved. Rates are very slow in the upper river and life spans are short. There isn’t enough food to support larger fish.
• He expanded on the problems with the river. Mountain lakes are nutrient poor due to their surroundings. Less agricultural runoff than lakes like Smith Mountain Lake and Kerr mean fewer nutrients. It also takes a very long time for water to move through the lake, so it gets filtered even more. Add that to the cold temperatures and you have a stunted fishery. Once you get to Martinsville, you have a lot more nutrients, higher temperatures and a more diverse food source.
• There is some Rainbow reproduction, but it is a very small population.
• We inquired about getting an annual stocking of Brown fingerlings below Martinsville. He took that under advisement.

Next Meeting will be Thursday, March 7, 2013 – We will announce a program as soon as it is decided and arranged.

If any errors and omissions are noticed, please bring them to my attention so they can be corrected.

Doug Jessie
Secretary SRTU

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