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Meeting Minutes – November 11, 2023

Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Meeting Attendees

     Tom Vanderputten   Keith Loutzenhiser    Mark Holcomb    Jim Mauck   Lee Troyer   Mike Beachy

     Brandon Rasler   Wayne Andrews   Jim Mock   Ted Larrison   Jim Anderson

Meeting Minutes

  • The meeting minutes for October 11, 2023 were approved.

Fishing Reports

  • October was a record month for large browns caught on The Little Elkhart. Oliver Miller and Chase Spaw both reported large browns. Tom Sult reports large browns on leech patterns.
  • The Little Elkhart is still low and clear. Trout are under cover.
  • CR 35 and Corson Park have been stellar. Spring Street has more juvenile browns, and the rainbows continue to be found.

 Treasurer’s Report

  • The combined balances in Everwise and Interra at the end of  September was $ 24,622.34
  • $ 50 was spent for the raffle license. Indiana gaming commission approved the use of credit cards for the raffle tickets.
  • $1,012 for new camera, $450 for fly tying equipment, $2,500 to the Elkhart Conservation Club, $2,500 to the Indiana State Hatchery, $1,000 for New Phase (fly boxes, etc.) for the Outing Sale.

Elkhart Conservation Club

  • The Elkhart Conservation Club unfortunately had an equipment failure (again!), and lost the trout to be stocked in The Little Elkhart.
  • Since the state does not allow duplicate stocking at the same location, these trout were to be stocked in the normally difficult to access locations (e.g. Corson Park and The Meadow).
  • Mike Beachy, Ed and Warren from ECC meet Friday with permits, but the trout died overnight.

A-A-T Donations

  • $2,500 will be sent to the following two organizations: 

Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station c/o Riley Schubert, 4250 E. 410 North, Howe IN 46746              

Elkhart Conservation Club c/o Charlie Horswell, 30121 Old U.S. 20, Elkhart IN 46514

Web-Site (

  • Brandon Rasler attended the meeting. He reported the Domain Name has been paid.
  • There was a credit card billing issue with the payment that needs to be resolved.
  • Brandon reiterated that information sent directly to him will be posted on the site.

Corson Riverwoods Park

  • The park soft opening has happened, and the parking lot is now open.
  • Mike found in the Indiana Register – Natural Resources Commission Information. Specifically 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

  • 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 is working with Matt Horsley (Indiana DNR) on a plan to restore bank cover at the Rowe Eden (from U.S. 20 to the Little Elkhart Confluence). 
  • The next step is a meeting with the Elkhart County Surveyors Office.
  • The information immediately below is a summary of the plan

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
  • Application packet is ready for submission on January 1st to the Middlebury Parks Department.
  • The A-A-T prize has been purchased. Winston Aire 2 9ft, 6wt, 4pc rod and Bauer Reel RVR 6/7.
  • Tom V. has information on potential speakers and will report in December.

H.A.M. Program

  • The annual Habitat Access Management program will occur the week of December 18th.
  • This is the distribution of Christmas Hams to the landowners on the Catch/Release section of the Little Elkhart.
  • 7 hams will be needed. Eacsh, Yoder, Hoover, 2 Schwartz, 2 Yoder.

Keith’s Store

  • Keith has purchased numerous items from New Phase for sale at the annual outing.
  • These items are supplemental to the Silent Auction Items.

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.
  • A local leader is needed to retreat. This is the liaison for oncologists and hospitals.
  • The logistics (rooms, food, times, dates) are still to be determined.

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 – December 13, 2023

Tom Vanderputten – LECTU Secretary