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Meeting Minutes – December 13, 2023

Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Meeting Attendees

     Tom Vanderputten   Keith Loutzenhiser    Mark Holcomb   Ridge Holcomb   Mike Beachy

     Nick Christofeno   Ted Larrison   Jim Anderson

Meeting Minutes

  • The meeting minutes for November 8, 2023 were approved.

Fishing Reports

  • Oliver Miller reported catching a nice brown at Corson Park.
  • The Spring street section of The Little Elkhart is still producing (mostly juvenile browns).

 Treasurer’s Report

  • The combined balances in Everwise and Interra at the end of  November was $ 20,430.82
  • $ 639.51 was spent on Habitat supplies (cable & nuts for rigging).
  • Mike will be paying the reservation fee to the Middlebury Parks for the Spring 2024 Outing.

Elkhart Conservation Club

  • The Elkhart Conservation Club received a new batch of brown trout eggs on Tuesday December 12th. The eggs were tempered and placed in the incubator.
  • John Hollister (LECTU) has been assisting in feeding the trout weekly.
  • ECC President Warren Allender sent a thank you e-mail to LECTU for our contribution. ECC purchased (3) tempering trays and (4) incubating trays with the donation.

Corson Riverwoods Park (the information below was reprinted from the November 2023 minutes)

  • The park soft opening has happened, and the parking lot is now open.
  • Mike found in the Indiana Register – Natural Resources Commission Information. Bulletin #7 (Fifth Amendment) regarding citizens petition. Mike took this information to Rhonda DeCaire at Elkhart County Parks. 
  • LECTU can anticipate a property owners meeting to present the Catch/Release philosophy to them. LECTU needs to convince them it is best for them and their property.

LECTU  Fly Tying/Education Sessions

  • The dates have been set for fly tying classes at the Middlebury and Bristol Libraries in 2024.
  • The sessions will be the Middlebury Library 1st Saturday of the month January to April.
  • The sessions at the Bristol Library will be the 2nd Saturday of the month January to April.
  • The times at both locations will be 10:00am to 1:00pm
  • All supplies have been purchased.
  • The decision on an LECTU tie-a-thon was tabled until next month.

Camera for LECTU ( the information below reprinted from November 2023 minutes)

  • Mark reported the purchase of a video camera for $ 1,012.
  • The camera runs video function and is compatible to the Library, the camera also is compatible to the LECTU projector.

Trout Habitat/Rowe Eden Project

  • Mike to his consternation discovered that the drag and cut done at the Rowe Eden was not done by Elkhart County or any of its various entities.
  • Mike is discussing the resolution with the Schwartz brothers attempting to broker a solution.
  • The information immediately below is a summary of the plan LECTU will conduct when LECTU receives an agreement from the Schwartz brothers and permission from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

Summer Work Days for Trout Habit Restoration (2024)

  • Mike has drawn a comprehensive plan for the Rowe Eden Ditch from US 20 to the confluence with the Little Elkhart. This will be submitted to IDNR Fisheries and the Elkhart County Surveyors.
  • The Schwartz brothers are willing to help restore the curves for trout habitat and to prevent erosion. They are willing to cut and stack logs this winter in preparation for summer 2024.
  • The project includes six significant curves. This is a major project involving 50-60 logs, cabling, use of natural roots, earth anchors, etc.
  • Mike and Matt Horsley (Indiana State Biologist) inspected this section. Matt reviewed the LECTU work at the Yoder farm meadow, and is in full support of the Rowe Eden Project.
  • Matt will set a meeting with the state, and Mike will present the plan.
  • Mike will purchase the cable supplies ($500), and contact the Schwartz brothers.

Annual Outing

  • The annual outing will be Saturday May 4th 2024
  • Application packet is ready for submission on January 1st to the Middlebury Parks Department.
  • LECTU has the raffle license raffle from the state of Indiana.
  • The guest speaker will be Dominic Chaloner, Biology Professor from the University of Notre Dame.

Winter Fly Shows

  • Heartland Show, Lebanon IN. January 20th (One Day Show). LECTU will need to set-up on Friday night January 19th.
  • 3RFF Show, Fort Wayne IN. February 17th at the Classic Café.
  • Bass Pro Event, Portage IN. March 16th and March 17th. This is Conservation Weekend.

H.A.M. Program

  • The annual Habitat Access Management program will occur on Thursday December 21st. Tom V and Mark H will deliver the hams to The Little Elkhart Landowners.
  • This is the distribution of Christmas Hams to the landowners on the Catch/Release section of the Little Elkhart.
  • 7 Hams (1 Oasch, 2 Schwartz, 1 Hoover, 2 Lamar and Wilbur Yoder, and 1 Yoder)

Reel Recovery Update

  • Ted Larrison reported that the Reel Recovery Event will consist of 10-15 participants.
  • The expenses at the Essenhaus will be approximately $4,000-$5,000.
  • LECTU will need to secure a Financial Sponsorship.
  • The national Reel Recovery Organization will assist the 1st year.
  • Tom V will serve as the Retreat Coordinator for 2025.
  • Tom V and Ted L. will meet with The National Reel Recovery and report in December.

Library Key Pickup

  • Wayne, Keith, and Mike have been listed by the Library being able to secure a building key for our monthly LECTU meetings. One of them will pick up the key prior to Wednesday of the meeting.

LECTU Meeting Place and Date

  • Middlebury Library in downtown Middlebury IN.

Next Meeting – Wednesday – January 10, 2024

Tom Vanderputten – LECTU Secretary