At our February 13 chapter meeting (REI store on Schenk Parkway in Biltmore Park at 7 pm), we are excited to have Matt Kulp (Supervisory Fishery Biologist) return for another engagement with us.   Matt has worked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for almost 25 years and is nationally well known for his work restoring native fish populations.  He currently leads efforts in the Park on brook trout restoration and our chapter has worked with him and his staff in that activity.

  Matt will cover a variety of topics including trout status in the Park, study of mercury in fish tissue, and fish restoration projects.   He will also discuss 2018 opportunities for volunteer activities for us with his team. This meeting has been one of our most popular topics in past years so come early, share stories with your buddies, and stay for a great time.

Here we are in February and no one has yet claimed the Icebreaker Trophy! I hope it’s just that the first trout of the year hasn’t been reported and that there’s a winner out there. Maybe we will find out at the February meeting.

Something else to put on your calendar are the dates for stocking the North Branch of the Mills River.

March 5, April 2, May 5, October 1, November 2.

We usually meet about 10 – 10:30 in the parking lot of the Mills River Campground. So if you want to know where the REALLY big ones are (and I do mean big) pack your waders and join us.

And don’t forget the F3T film festival is coming up next month – March 31 at the Highland Brewery.

Also, it’s nearing the time for us to nominate a student we will sponsor for River course. If you know a student between 13 and 15 who would really benefit from this, please let us know.

And finally, kudos to our Conservation Chair, Jay Hawthorne who participated in the Mountain True “live staking” on the Upper French Broad River. Jay is doing a great job and is constantly finding volunteer projects for us.