December 2015 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of SRTU meeting held at Riana’s Restaurant in uptown Martinsville on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 6:30 pm

Meeting called to order by SRTU President Doug Jessie

39 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 Scott Griffins reports our check book at the beginning of last quarter was $1590.63 We raised $26.00 on the raffle at our September meeting. Our guest speaker’s meal was $34.03. The club spent $44.09 on the cookout for Fish with a Friend. Check book balance as of December 3, 2015 was $1,538.51.
Old Business:

• Election of 2016 Leadership – (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) Because no one has stepped forward and there being no nominations from the floor the current slate of officers have agreed to serve one more year in their current positions. This was put to a vote and passed without opposition. Elected leadership for 2016 remains as:

President – Doug Jessie

Vice President – Eric Tichay

Secretary – Al Kittredge

Treasurer – Scott Griffin
New Business:

• SRTU President Doug Jessie gave an overview of events the chapter has been participated in during the past year. These included: River clean up; Blue Ridge Heritage Veterans fishing event; Grayson Highlands fishing & camping trip; Fish, Lying & Tying @ the Bassett Cabin; Booth & Casting Pond @ Smith River Fest; Support DGIF sampling below Martinsville Dam; Support DGIF sampling from Philpott to Koehler area; Fish with a Friend & Cookout.

• SRTU President Doug Jessie also reviewed meeting themes during the previous year: March (held in Apr due to weather) – Musky Fishing – Matt Miles; June – Warm Water Fishing – Anthony Hipps; September – Salt Water Fishing – Keith Gallaher; December – Annual DGIF Report on Health of Smith River Fishery
• SRTU President Doug Jessie recently attended a VCTU meeting in Radford which was labeled a “pre-meeting” to prepare for the Southeast Regional TU meeting being held in Roanoke on May 20-22, 2016. This will be a great opportunity for local TU chapters to highlight what our regional fisheries have to offer.
• SRTU leadership is preparing a survey which will be sent within the next month to everyone on our distribution list. We hope for a good response which will help focus efforts on what the membership and potential membership would like to see for future events / projects / programs.

Meeting Theme and Feature Presentation:

George Palmer, DGIF Fisheries Biologist gave his annual “Health of the Smith River Fishery ” (I left immediately after the meeting to catch a flight to a friend’s funeral therefore I’m doing a cut and paste of a recent post by Doug Jessie on one of the regional forums – Doug did a good job of summarizing what we all heard)

“Because of them moving fish from Mirror Plant and above for three of the last four years, the fish density up there has gone down. But, recruitment is up. And size has stayed the same. The goal was for the fish to grow more since they had more food/fish. Not the case so far. Another year or two of data might show some changes.

Below Bassett showed a few more fish, more size.

Below Martinsville, considerably more fish. 21% of fish collected had been moved fish (clipped adipose). Good growth. The majority of fish were 12-16″. They did net one 25″. In spite of high muddy water this year, they collected almost 50% more fish/mile than they did last year. The major numbers came above the Sports Complex. The numbers drop off after that. No recruitment was sampled.

As expected, little baitfish was sampled Mirror Pool and up, decent numbers below Bassett, very good numbers and variety below Martinsville.

They will move fish again in 2016, and some of those may also go in Fieldale section.

They plan a summer sampling for the section between Koehler and Martinsville Dam for summer 2016. (The Forest division has their own raft, now.) With the second raft, they also hope to do a better sampling on lower river next year. They caught an amazing amount with just one raft going straight down the river in muddy conditions.

They have put in a request for 8,000 4″ triploid fish for lower river in 2016. They requested 11,000 for 2015 and got 5,000.

We are all very curious to see what the high flows, and up and down sluicing, does to next year’s fishing and sampling. The biologist just shrugged his shoulders and said we’ll see. Nothing we can do about it”

I did ask George Palmer how the Smith compared to other trout streams he has helped manage. His reply, “You are very fortunate to have the Smith River flow through your backyard”.

Next regular meeting will be on Thursday, March 3, 2016. The program will be announced as soon as we have it firmed up.

Raffle & Swap Table:

• We pulled two lucky tickets for a raffle. Monies taken in from the raffles help pay for guest speakers meals and other expenses associated with running the chapter. John Floyd won a very nice rod case. Laura Kennerly “regifted” her win of nippers and a net which was soon claimed by Paul Fogle on the drawing of another ticket. Both prizes where donated by LL Bean.

• Lots of items on the swap table. If you have not participated you may be missing out. I saw books, magazines (free for the taking – thanks Eric), waders, vests, tackle boxes and more. 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!
• A big “shout out” to Rusty Lacy who donated several items for future raffles or use in chapter sponsored events. Thanks Rusty – your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Any errors or omissions in these minutes are entirely mine. Please refer any comments or questions concerning these minutes to SRTU Secretary or telephone 9120-868-6235
Al Kittredge
Secretary, SRTU


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