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Meeting Minutes September 2023

Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Meeting Minutes – September 13, 2023

Meeting Attendees

     Tom Vanderputten   Keith Loutzenhiser    Mark Holcomb   Ridge Holcomb   Jim Mock

Meeting Minutes

  • The meeting minutes for August 9, 2023 were approved.

Fishing Reports

  • The Little Elkhart has been low and clear. Water temperatures are holding now that the nights are cool.
  • Trout are holding tight to cover. There are still rainbows in the Little Elkhart.

 Treasurer’s Report

  • Everwise (formerly Teachers Credit Union) sent a new Debit card to Keith.
  • The combined balances in Everwise and Interra at the end of August was $ 28,651.87

A-A-T Donations

  • Mike contacted Matt Horsley and he is making contacts for LECTU regarding contributions to the state (he will forward contact information to Mike).
  • Ed Evans of the Elkhart Conservation Club said donations can be sent c/o Charlie Horswell Treasurer, 30121 Old US 20, Elkhart, IN, 46514. Ed said he would receive the funds for the hatchery.

Web-Site ( is reprinted from the June meeting minutes)

  • LECTU has struggled recently with updating issues for the LECTU Web-Site.
  • Brandon the LECTU website manager will provide both Mike Beachy and Keith Loutzenhiser with a tutorial on managing the site. 
  • Upgrades to the Wed-Site will be forthcoming.

Corson Riverwoods Park

  • Mike and Tom V meet with Rhonda DeCaire. Discussion ranged from river conditions to the IDNR electro-fishing survey results.
  • The major issue is the procedure to submit the Citizens Petition to enlarge the Catch/Release area to include Corson Riverwoods Park. Rhonda will investigate then have another meeting to write and submit the proposal.
  • 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  Education

  • Rhonda (Elkhart County Parks) has requested that LECTU has a fly tying and fly fishing classes at Bonneyville Mill Schoolhouse, and fly fishing classes at Cobus Creek Park.
  • Keith will contact Rhonda (574-533-6458 and and discuss available times.
  • A teacher from Portage reached out to TU National regarding a Trout-in-The Classroom Program. Mike was then contacted by Quentin Collins (Indianapolis & TU) for LECTU to assist this project. LECTU would fund the program $2,500-$3,000, and be responsible for the equipment and securing the eggs. Mike told Quentin we would need a special fundraiser, and the project would not be manageable until next year (2024). LECTU is interested but concerned about the distance to the school, and LECTU availability in an emergency related to the equipment.

Tim Flagler Visit 

  • The event will be September 21.

LECTU Fly Tying Sessions

          LECTU will investigate the purchase of a camera/tripod to use with projector during demonstrations. This would eliminate the need to hire outside help. 

  • Mark will purchase the needed equipment (a motion carried to approve up to $500).
  • Keith will also purchase additional fly tying equipment (a motion approved up to $500).

Summer Work Days

  • The summer workday schedule for 2023 is complete. 95% of the work was accomplished.
  • The river from the Cut Through to the Walkway Bridge was opened. This entire section is open during deer and turkey season, since it is municipal property. The final workday August 26th LECTU was assisted by four guys from the Indy Fly Casters.

Summer Work Days (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.

Middlebury Riverfest

  • The Middlebury Riverfest was held at Riverbend Park on Saturday August 26th.
  • Keith and Tom were at the LECTU booth. The activity and attendance was very good.

Reel Recovery(Reprinted from August Minutes)

  • Ted Larrison introduced the topic of “Reel Recovery” an organization for men recovering from cancer. 
  • Ted talked of past retreats in other states that he has either been involved with or managed.

Ted would like LECTU to sponsor an event in Indiana. LECTU will continue to discuss this possibility at future meeting.

Derby City TU

  • Mike is scheduled to present a ZOOM presentation for the Louisville TU Chapter on September 26th.

Elkhart Conversation Club

  • Ed Evans and Mike will meet to review alternative stocking sites outside of the Indiana State stocked locations (Bridge Crossing Only).
  • Wilbur’s Meadow, The Wellfield, Corson Park (two locations), and possibly Eby Pines. The IDNR will be stocking browns off the normal stocking locations.

New Business

  • Annual meeting (2024) is eight months. Speaker search should start now.
  • Will we keep the Adopt-A-Trout name?
  • Will we still have a Mega Raffle?
  • Rod and Reel?
  • Proposal for another order of hats (3-4 years supply)($1,000)
  • Proposal for LECTU Branded fly boxes ($800)

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 – October 11, 2023

Tom Vanderputten – LECTU Secretary