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Nation’s Largest Coldwater Conservation Organization Celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2009

Trout Unlimited Celebrates 50 years of protecting America’s rivers and streams

ARLINGTON, Va. — Throughout 2009, Trout Unlimited will celebrate its 50th anniversary as the nation’s largest and oldest coldwater conservation organization in America.

Started in 1959 by 16 fishermen in Michigan who wanted to protect their local river, TU has grown to 140,000 members in 400 local chapters throughout the country. TU has been instrumental in restoring more than 10,000 miles of rivers and streams around the country and has been a force in protecting habitat for trout and salmon from Alaska to Maine.

“As it marks its 50th birthday, Trout Unlimited can take great pride in its accomplishments as a steward of and advocate for America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds,” said Trout Unlimited CEO Charles Gauvin. “This occasion is as much about envisioning the future as it about celebrating the past, so as we toast the organization’s accomplishments, we must remind ourselves of the need to persevere in realizing the promise inherent in the TU mission.”

Since its founding, TU and its local chapters and volunteers have made numerous tangible contributions to conservation in the United States, including significant reforms in state water law in the East and West and on-the-ground projects to restore and reconnect streams. These successes have kept rivers like Montana's Jefferson River and Connecticut’s Housatonic River from running dry and helped to preserve and restore critical fisheries. TU has mobilized the sporting community to protect some of America's last best places to hunt and fish and works at the state and federal levels to achieve protections for trout and salmon. For a full list of TU’s achievements in the last 50 years, go to www.tu50.org.

Trout Unlimited will host a number of events to mark its 50th anniversary, including a celebration in August at its annual meeting in Traverse City, Michigan, located near the Au Sable River where TU was founded.

TU’s quarterly magazine, Trout, will publish a special 50th anniversary issue in June. TU’s weekly television program, On the Rise, which airs on the Outdoor Channel, focuses on TU’s conservation efforts around the country.

“As TU celebrates its 50 years of conservation, we must bear in mind that it is TU volunteers who have made the organization what it is today,” said Bryan Moore, vice president for Volunteer Operations and Watersheds. “TU members are the backbone that keeps the organization growing and moving forward in everything from on-the-ground restoration of rivers and streams to involving young people in conservation. The 50th anniversary celebration is really a celebration of our 140,000 members around the country.”

The local chapter of TU is Rocky Mountain Flycasters, with a membership of over 800. This chapter has developed a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to help with maintenance and education of the North Fork of the Poudre through Phantom Canyon. They work with Larimer County to repair and restore the North Fork at Eagle’s Nest Open Space. They also support veterans by teaching fly fishing and fly tying. RMF sponsors the Robert Behnke-Rocky Mountain Flycasters research fellowship for a CSU graduate student in a related major. Volunteers from RMF take part in river clean-ups, education, and community involvement in areas concerning the Poudre River and The Big Thompson River. The chapter meets the third Wednesday of each month, except June, July, and August, at the Fort Collins Senior Center.

TU’s mission is to protect, reconnect, restore and sustain trout and salmon habitat in the United States.

Last updated on 11 Jun, 2011