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Meeting Minutes – January 10, 2024

Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Meeting Attendees

     Tom Vanderputten   Keith Loutzenhiser    Mark Holcomb   Ridge Holcomb   Mike Beachy

     Ted Larrison   Jim Mauck

Meeting Minutes

  • The meeting minutes for December 13, 2023 were approved.

Fishing Reports

  • Deer Season ended on January 7th.
  • Mike Beachy and Oliver Miller were out on Dec. 16th at County Rd. 35. Mike reported 1 rainbow and 3 browns.
  • Trout taking mini leeches very lightly.

 Treasurer’s Report

  • The combined balances in Everwise and Interra at the end of  December 2023 was $ 21,364.60
  • The reimbursement for LECTU membership (2023) was $ 1,002.50
  • Dr. Janet & Greg McComis Foundation donated $ 500.
  • Mike paid $ 50 to the Middlebury Parks for Riverbend Park reservation for May 4th Outing.

Corson Riverwoods Park (No New Information) (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
  • The first session was held on in Middlebury on January 6th. There was a small turnout.
  • The Middlebury Parks Department has requested that LECTU conduct a Fly Fishing 101 instruction session at Bonneyville Schoolhouse. The class would cost $10 and be from 10:00am to 2:00pm, the date to be determined.
  • LECTU is planning a group tying Fly-A-Thon. The date and place to be determined.

Trout Habitat/Rowe Eden Project

  • Mike and John Schwartz reached an amenable agreement regarding the Project.
  • IDEM, IDNR, Army Core paperwork for the plan is due January 29th. No Response at this time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The outing flier has been sent to the printer. The A-A-T (Adopt-A-Trout) raffle tickets are ready.
  • At the February meeting the members present will prepare the envelopes are mailing to the overall LECTU membership. Please attend the February meeting to help.
  • The Outing casting instructor will be Rick Hinton.
  • Wayne Andrews will procure the Van for the stream access tour. Nick Christofeno will be the River Access Tour Guide.
  • There will be a fly tying demonstration. The fly-tier still to be determined.

Winter Fly Shows

  • Heartland Show, Lebanon IN. January 20th (One Day Show). LECTU will need to set-up on Friday night January 19th. Mike has everything for the booth.
  • 3RFF Show, Fort Wayne IN. February 17th at the Classic Café. Need sign-up for tiers and booth.
  • Bass Pro Event, Portage IN. March 16th and March 17th. This is Conservation Weekend.
  • Indianapolis CITU Film Tour (Broadripple) is March 23rd.

H.A.M. Program

  • The annual Habitat Access Management program occurred on Thursday December 21st. Tom V and Mark H delivered the hams to The Little Elkhart Landowners. LECTU was well received.

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. Keith will find the correct person at the Essenhaus to liaison with LECTU
  • Ted has been contacting foundations seeking financial sponsorship.
  • The national Reel Recovery Organization will assist the 1st year.
  • LECTU believes that June 2025 will be the best time for the event.
  • 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 February

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 – February 14, 2024

Tom Vanderputten – LECTU Secretary