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Great Start to New Year – Wet a Line

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    Events don’t happen without dedicated volunteers, such as Clifford and Peggy Hutton, Minersville, Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited. LISA PRICE/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published January 12. 2019 12:17AM

After a day of solid rain, even the appearance of a weak sun was enough to raise spirits. In fact, it felt more like spring than New Year’s Day. And there’s nothing like brightly-colored trout to define the promise of spring to come.

The Schuylkill Headwaters Association and Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited joined resources to host a fishing event New Year’s Day, just north of Tamaqua along the Little Schuylkill River.

“It was a natural fit,” said Bill Reichert, Schuylkill Headwaters Association. “I always wished we could get to the point where we could put habitat into the streams and rivers.”

“We’ve done a lot of work and it shows,” he added. “People who live along the Little Schuylkill are pleased, but there’s still a lot to do.”

Nothing could have been accomplished, for both groups, without the backing of their loyal members. As Leon Weaver, S & A Trout Ponds, Orwigsburg, rolled in with a truck holding the trout to be stocked, volunteers lined up to tote them in water-filled buckets from the truck to the water.

A gallon of water weighs 10 pounds; the fish were transported in buckets and totes that were about half full.

“I quit smoking,” said Jarrett Morrison, Tamaqua, as he carried a large tote for about 100 yards along the river. “You’d never know it right now.”

Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited handled the food and registrations; Schuylkill Headwaters coordinated the trout stocking. Registration started at 9 and by 9:30, more than 60 anglers had registered. Groups of anglers came from Berwick, Ephrata and other Pennsylvania towns.

“You put something on the internet and people find out about it,” said Clifford Hutton, Minersville, executive director of Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited. He and his wife Peggy staffed the registration table. “Last year we had 67 register and I think we’re going to top that.”

Schuylkill Trout Unlimited has held the event since 2014. Schuylkill Headwaters Association joined in for the first time this year. Do you like to fish? Like to participate in projects to improve habitat? Still haven’t gotten around to formalizing your New Year’s resolutions? Here’s an easy one – join these groups, they’ll find something for you to do!

About the Schuylkill Headwaters Association

The organization was founded in 1997, with the mission statement “To promote the environmental integrity of the Schuylkill River, its tributaries, and the watershed that lies within the boundaries of Schuylkill County. The SHA is a 501 (c) 3 environmental organization headquartered in Pottsville.

In its efforts to restore and protect the headwaters of the Schuylkill River, SHA has worked with partners which include government agencies, businesses and other local organizations. Some past and on-going projects are: Treating abandoned mine drainage by building and maintaining treatment systems, educating children and adults about the watershed and what they can do to help improve water quality, iImproving fish habitat and stabilizing stream banks, planting trees to reclaim mine land, water monitoring. For more information, go to www.schuylkillheadwaters.org or email cives@schuylkillheadwaters.org.

About Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited

Nationally Trout Unlimited was founded in 1959, with the goal of protecting the country’s trout and salmon populations. The group has about 400 chapters nationwide, with more than 10 percent of those chapters located in Pennsylvania. For more information about the Schuylkill Country TU, contact Brian Lengel, 570-915-1500, blengel@solarinnovations.com.

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