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Trout Unlimited Chapter 642: Trout in Classrooms, Women's Retreats & Fly-tying Events

Trout Unlimited Chapter 642 Facebook Page

Trout Unlimited is a national organization that was created to perpetuate cold water fisheries, and cold water fisheries particularly means... it's cold enough to sustain trout…And right now with global warming we have a transition happening which is a major concern for Trout Unlimited as the temperature rises a degree or two in streams that are already critical for supporting trout. So the area that will support trout in 50 years may only be half the area that it is today. So it's a big deal.  – Charlie Parson, Trout Unlimited Chapter 642

Trout Unlimited Chapter 642 promotes a variety of ways including their Trout in the Classroom initiative, fly-tying events and even a women’s retreat that allows women an opportunity to experience the sport.  Chapter 642 members Charlie Parson, Jim McCracken, Val Wagner and Chris Williams stopped by the morning show to tell us more about the work they do.

Trout in the Classroom is a national program sponsored by Trout Unlimited to increase awareness with students about the natural environment and Trout happens to be the focal point for the project but it's also supported by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Tony Standera here in the local area is very helpful and a great resource for us. And then we cooperate with our local school districts and in essence we have fish tanks that are in the classrooms and the eggs trout eggs are delivered… so they hatch those eggs and raise trout and we'll release them into local trout streams in the spring and then all throughout the year.

The teachers use that fish tank and fish as a way to articulate and integrate a variety of different academic disciplines into their teaching. So they're teaching science learning about in vertebrates, they're teaching about social studies and watersheds and living with our neighbors and water quality and mathematics monitoring temperatures and charting growth of the fish and even art and painting the environment and the fish and in that type of thing. So it's a real way to encourage Hands on learning with their students. And it's something that really leaves a mark with them…We help them get the tanks and the necessary support equipment and the food and that kind of thing. And then the students are actually very play a very important role in that. They help manage the tanks. They're responsible for monitoring water quality and temperature…keeping an eye on things to make sure that that the tank is running smoothly and successfully.– Jim McCracken, Trout Unlimited Chapter 642

In addition to Trout in the Classroom, TU offers regular fly-tying classes at the Garden Grill in Bemidji - the next tying class will happen at 5:30pm on January 16th.  Everyone is welcome.  To keep up with fly fishing opportunities find Trout Unlimited Chapter 642 on Facebook.  That's also where you can discover details about the upcoming classes for women who are showing more and more interest in fly fishing...

I've been fishing all my life... and fly fishing adds so many new dimensions. You look at the weather, you look at what they're eating, you look at the water. You're much more into nature, into your surroundings, and then there's the casting part. Once you've learned it... it's an art, it's a dance. Yeah it's fun to do. It just adds more to it. It's very graceful...it's timing and technique not muscle, so that's where women usually pick it up quicker than men…We offer a fly fishing class just for women. It's more like a retreat it's a Friday Saturday every year. - Sue Wagner, Trout Unlimited Chapter 642

Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.