Monongahela Water Sampling

Mountaineer Chapter TU members participated.
Taking a Snapshot of the Monongahela National Forest
On October 1, 2016 – 27 volunteer water quality monitors from across West Virginia and Virginia gathered in Elkins, WV for the 2nd Monongahela National Forest Watershed Snapshot Day

Teams of volunteers were assigned monitoring routes which dispersed them through out the National Forest to collect water quality data. Locations for monitoring were strategically chosen for access, ecological value, and their potential to be impacted by shale gas. Of particular concern is the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 550-mile long multi-state pipeline, if constructed as currently proposed, would include 27 stream crossings on different 26 streams within and adjacent to the northern Monongahela Forest.

What can we learn from the Snapshot Day data? We collected 102 samples on 51 streams during Snapshot Day. Right now, we are working with our lab partners, Penn State University and Eastern Mennonite University, to have the samples analyzed. Each sample will be tested for conductivity, pH, turbidity, Barium, Strontium and Methane. Barium, Strontium and Methane are found naturally in the environment, but coupled with shale gas development, or when found in elevated levels, they can be indicators of pollution. It’s important to understand if, and at what levels, these chemicals are found in streams in the National Forest prior to development. We’ll share a report on the Snapshot Day data once the analysis is finished.

We’d like to extend a BIG thank you to all the volunteers who made Snapshot Day possible. Thank you for your time and commitment!

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John McCoy: Fly fishing event will cater to women, youth

(from Charleston Gazette, March 21, 2015)

Kim Rowley is on a mission.

She wants to get more women and young people involved in fly fishing for trout. To help make that happen, Rowley, the women’s initiative chair for the West Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited, is putting together an event geared toward — you guessed it — women and kids.

The event, billed as a “Women’s Getaway,” is scheduled for April 25-26 at Pipestem Resort State Park. Women and youths who attend the event will get two days’ worth of fly fishing on the Bluestone River, one night’s stay at the resort’s Mountain Creek Lodge, a guide to provide instruction and advice, four full meals, and beverages and snacks during the fishing.

“The reason we’re having this weekend is so women will have a place where they can learn about fly fishing,” Rowley says. “A lot of women are interested in it, but they don’t know how to do it, where to do it, or how to get started at it. This getaway is aimed at getting them started.”

Most “intro to fly fishing” events are male-oriented — an arrangement Rowley says can be intimidating to women.

“We want to break that pattern,” she explains. “This one is 100 percent about women and young people learning to fly fish for trout from experienced guides.”

Rowley says the outing would provide a perfect opportunity for single mothers to learn fly fishing with their kids. “We do ask that the kids be at least 12 years of age, though,” she adds. “We realize that younger kids are perfectly capable of learning how to fly fish, but the Bluestone is a pretty good-sized stream and we want to make sure the kids are big enough to wade into the best casting locations.”

If the Bluestone’s water levels are normal for late April, the wading should be fairly easy. The fishing should be easy, too. The river receives stockings of rainbow trout, and hatchery-fresh fish tend to be easier to catch than wild or native fish.

Participants don’t even have to own fly rods. “If someone doesn’t have her own tackle, we will be happy to provide a rod and reel,” Rowley says.

Though the guides will provide most of the instruction and hands-on experience, Rowley says she will be there “to assist the women as needed.”

“Also, on Saturday night when we’re relaxing back at the lodge, I’ll teach a little bit about fly-tying. Then, on Sunday morning, the ladies can take the flies they tie out to the river and try to catch fish with them.”

Rowley believes the weekend “would be a perfect opportunity for a single mom to bring a kid and learn a pastime they can do together.”

The price tag? For the adults, the full package costs $340.51 per person based on double occupancy or $384.75 for single occupancy. For kids age 12 to 15, the package costs $256.24.

“That’s such a good deal,” Rowley says. “If you tried to put together something like this at another fly fishing-oriented facility here in West Virginia, you’d probably end up spending twice that much. This is a great opportunity to learn the basics at a very reasonable price.”

She believes teaching people to fish for trout is beneficial on several levels.

“One, it gives people a pastime they can participate in for their entire lives,” she says. “Two, people learn that trout have to have cold, clean water to survive. That, in turn, teaches them about conservation and [habitat] restoration. When more people are aware of what it takes to have trout, more people will work to make trout available in the future for their children.”

For more information, contact Ed Wooton at Pipestem, 304-466-1800, ext. 393.

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Not a TU member yet? (or looking for a good deal for friends and family?

Introductory Membership (18 and up): Half the price of Regular Membership! If you are not a member of TU and want to see what this is all about, sign up! It is only $17.50, and a full $15 of that comes back to the Mountaineer Chapter for use in improving north central WV fisheries and fishing education. Be sure, when selecting for which chapter you are signing up, chose Mountaineer Chapter #153.

We are not recruiting from other chapters, but if you have recently moved to the area or if you prefer to be a TU member in the area in which you fish but don’t necessarily live, here’s the information you need:

“If you are a current TU member and would like to transfer membership
to MCTU, contact Mallory Ennis at and specify that you
want to transfer your membership to Mountaineer Chapter 153″

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Executive Committee Meeting

The executive committee of the Mountaineer Chapter of Trout Unlimited met in Elkins on March 2, 2015. Chapter president Buck Edwards led the discussion, which centered on restructuring and re-energizing the chapter, establishing quarterly chapter meetings with “subchapters” meeting in other locations during the other months of each quarter.  Laura Dent, chapter vice president, will host a meeting in Durbin on March 30 at 7 PM for any interested individuals. Treasurer Randy Kesling updated the group about grant money currently in the treasury and provided information about updating the chapter bylaws. Dustin Wichterman, Potomac Headwaters Project Leader, informed the group about upcoming projects, including riparian tree plantings (including Abes Run April 6 through 9) and the Seneca Rocks Discovery Day on May 9. The next chapter meeting of the Mountaineer Chapter of TU will be on April 13 at 7 PM (tentatively at the Randolph County Board of Education office in Elkins).

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Mountaineer PHW hitting the water!

Bob with a nice Elk River rainbow.

From the left: Bob, Dee, Gary, Chris, Roger, and Tom at the Elk Springs Lodge.

Gary with a monster rainbow.

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Fly Casting 101

The Mountaineer PHW group after a good day of casting in the VA Park.

Jacob Ott, Director of the Greenbrier Sporting Club drove up from Lewisburg to help us with our casting class.   Jacob is a certified Fly Casting instructor and helped all of us with our casting!    Our next class we will put everybody’s skills to the test as we try hitting the water.

We are looking for donations of leaders, tippet, and flies to help supply our classes.   And as always we are always looking for fly fishermen/women who are interested in volunteering and helping with our classes.

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PHW – Fly Tying Class #2

Our next class will be Weds. April the 4th at the VA in the same room as our last class. We will be going over more of the fly tying tools and also tying the Clouser Minnow.


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