Category: Conservation News

TU National Leadership Council (NLC) Seeks Increased Women Membership

Old  TU National has started a new membership drive for women from March 1 through May 31.  Free memberships is being offered to women during this time frame.  The NLC Women’s Initiative Workgroup is asking for Chapter help with their goal of increasing and retaining women’s membership within TU.
The goal for the Women’s Initiative Workgroup is to increase and retain new women members in TU.  A free membership program for women was started last year and was successful in increasing our membership with 2600+ women!  What is even more exciting is that our retention rate for these new members is now at 13% and has far surpassed the workgroups original goal!  To keep this momentum continuing, TU has started a new membership drive for women starting March 1 through May 31.  This information was included in the recent Lines To Leaders.  Free memberships will be offered to women once again during this time frame and I encourage you to promote this event within your Chapters.  To continue improving retention rates, TU is also offering reduced memberships to women who had signed up for the free membership when their membership is due.  The renew rate is $17.50 of which $15.00 will go to your chapters.  This membership drive starts March 15 through June 15.  I have attached an excel spread sheet of women in Virginia who took advantage of the free membership but have not yet renewed. I encourage you to contact the women in your Chapter and invite them to take advantage of the renewal rate of $17.50.
Here is the link to the free women’s membership for you to give to any women that are interested in joining TU.  And remember your chapter will receive $15.00 of their first renewal.  lease visit to take advantage of this offer.

Rapidan River Threatened by Road Proposal

If you’ve missed the last few Chapter meetings, you may not be aware that the Madison County Board of Supervisors is proposing a new entrance to Shenandoah National Park. The entrance would use the existing road along the Rapidan River through the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area  and go through the gate and past President Hoover’s camp. TU members and other users of the area are quite concerned about the impact this proposal would have on our namesake river and the pristine area it flows though. Rather than going into great detail, we have created a Fight the Madison Gateway page dedicated to information on this critical matter.  included a link to an Action Alert prepared by the Rapidan Chapter.

Also, we have a link to the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited website at

At the end of the VCTU article are links to letters of opposition from Rapidan Camps and a letter to the Madison Eagle with also contains information complementary to the Chapter’s Action Alert.

“Public Use” in Jeopardy on Some Virginia Public Waters

By Beau Beasley, Rapidan TU Chapter Member, for Orvis News

In June 2010, Dargan Coggeshall and Charlie Crawford decided to fish on the Jackson River near the home of Dr. John Feldenzer, a surgeon from Roanoke, Virginia. However, Matt Sponaugle — owner of the housing development called River’s Edge, who had sold the riverfront property to the Feldenzers — insisted that the anglers leave that section of the river immediately. He pointed to the No Trespassing signs posted on the banks of both sides of the river indicating that neither fishing nor wading was allowed there. Coggeshall, who had fished that part of the Jackson for years prior to the home being built, countered that his map, issued by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, listed this section of the Jackson River as public property.

Eventually, Sponaugle called for an Alleghany County deputy sheriff to check the anglers’ fishing licenses. The deputy found that their licenses were in order and, because the state said that they had a right to be there, refused to arrest them. Undeterred, Sponaugle tried to sue the anglers in criminal court; the case was dropped, however, because the court found the ownership of the river in dispute. Now Feldenzer and Sponaugle are suing the anglers in civil court — to the tune of $10,000 apiece — for trespassing. ………READ MORE

This article was originally printed by Chesapeake Bay Journal and was been reprinted by Orvis News with permission of the author.

Conservation news – Public Use Lawsuit – Jackson River

I have cut and pasted an important bit of information from an email of one of our Chapter Board members, please read:

Beau Beasly’s article on MidCurrent provides all the info – link to article ->

Jay / Randy – thank you very much for highlighting the Jackson river problem on the NVTU and Potomac River Smallmouth Club websites.

However, I would like to ask you to take a more aggressive approach to getting the word out and e-mail the following (or an edited version) to your respective mailing lists. This issue is too important to be passive and hope for people to visit the website.

Here is what I recommend you send:

Please join with us to fight for the right for anglers to use public water! We need to mobilize now to make a difference!

A developer is suing 3 anglers in Virginia for fishing a section of the Jackson River that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries considers public. If the court rules in favor of the developer, rivers throughout Virginia will be off limits for recreational use at the whim of the riverfront landowner in spite of a Virginia law that places the riverbed under the ownership of the State. These things have a way of spreading, so an unfavorable decision could ripple nationwide as a horrible precedent.

The goal is to: Continue Reading »

Visit our new Trout in the Classroom Page

Sponsored by Trout Unlimited, Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an environmental education tic-2011-006program in which students in grades k-12 . . .

  • raise trout from eggs to fry.
  • monitor tank water quality.
  • engage in stream habitat study.
  • learn to appreciate water resources.
  • begin to foster a conservation ethic.
  • grow to understand ecosystems.

Visit our Trout in the Classroom Page for more information, links, and pictures of recent brook trout releases by our local students.

April 7th – Kids Day/Heritage Day at Grave’s Mountain Lodge

Our Kid’s Day/Heritage Day will begin at 9:00am and run until 4:00pm’ish on Saturday, April 7th, where we join up with Graves Mountain Lodge and the Virgina Department of Game and Inland Fisheries -VDGIF, along with other supporting TU Chapters, for a day along the section of Rose River at Graves Mountain Lodge.  This event will be open for kids 12 and under to fish for stocked trout in the Rose River there at Graves Mountain, and our event is accompanied by a multitude of other venues and exhibits.

In addition to our own TU Membership Table, we’ll have fly tying demonstrations, fly casting demonstrations and instructions, and and stream/aquatic educational demonstration.  Our Chapter originated the Kid’s Day event years ago, and have since joined it with the Virginia Heritage Day where we team up with Jimmy Graves of Graves Mountain, and the VDGIF for this annual family event – – so, for those of you not serving in the volunteer/support effort for this event, please bring your families and come join us for a great time!!

Shenandoah Watershed Study and Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study

For over 30 years, Shenandoah National Park and the University of Virginia have been partners in the study of water quality for SNP’s entire watershed.  This is recognized as the longest continuously conducted watershed research and monitoring program in the National Park System.  Shenandoah Watershed Study (SWAS) data is gathered along with Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study (VTSSS) data which allows for a data set that encompasses most of the trout habitat in the Commonwealth.

VTSSS data is gathered every 10 years.  The last study was done in 2000 and the Rapidan Chapter was a partner in the data gathering effort.  Next spring, we will also have an opportunity to help with this important event.

We welcome Jeb Wofford to our November 4th meeting.  He will discuss “Fish Monitoring and Management in the SNP”.  These programs are directly affected by SWAS and VTSSS data.

Marcia Woolman will also introduce us to the data collection plan for the upcoming 2010 VTSSS study.

Won’t you please join us?

Kevin Daniels
President, Rapidan Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Great information on stalking wild trout in Virginia streams

Where to find trout is important

Where to find trout is important

At our last meeting, our now former member Dr. Larry Puckett provided an outstanding presentation on the characteristics of stream habitat to look for when stalking the elusive brook trout.  Larry was very gracious to make this material available for both our education and to make our quests for trout more productive.  His presentation, and data are available for viewing by clicking the links below:

For his presentation “Prospecting for Brook Trout” Click Here

For his 2000 VTSSS data Click Here

For his map displaying geological areas of Virginia Click Here

May 15, 2010–Volunteer Opportunity Riparian Buffer Planting

Volunteer Opportunity Riparian Buffer Planting Mount Vernon Farm, Sperryville, Virginia Sat., May 15, 2010; 10 AM – 3 PM Please join Trout Unlimited, Piedmont Environmental Council, RappFLOW, and Earth Sangha for a day of planting native trees and shrubs to enhance native trout habitat along the Thornton River. TU and others recently worked with the operators of Mount Vernon Farm to demolish a derelict dam across the river which impeded fish passage and interrupted the stream\’s natural hydrology. This project will stabilize and enhance the area where the dam was removed and improve conditions for brook trout and other species. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Lisa Bright,

Stream Monitor Update

The 2 data collectors that the Rapidan Chapter paid for are now in Jeffrey’s branch near the headwaters and one is downstream about one mile. I know Doug was interested in getting involved in this, but with all the rain we had, I never did get to fully explore the headwater branches. I would have called Doug to do that with me, but I never was able to get out there. So, I discussed with Nat Gillespie the CSI results and where he thought they should go. I spoke with the farm manager at Cleremont Farm and Mark Thompson who are the two landowners and got permission. Continue Reading »