Central Alberta Trout Unlimited Dinner/Auction

Central Alberta Trout Unlimited Dinner/Auction
Thursday April 25th, 2013

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bob Scammell Has Passed Away

...from the Red Deer Advocate

...from a blog post a few years ago!

The Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited has made an effort to recognize and honor members of our community that have made a significant contribution to our chapter over the years.

Last week we took the time to honor Bob Scammell. Bob has written an outdoor column that has been published in our main Alberta newspapers for over 45 years. Bob’s columns have earned him several outdoor writer awards from both Outdoor Writers of Canada and the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Bob has also received so many more writing awards. Bob was recently inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Bob has served as president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association and was involved in the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Bob was one of the founding members of the Alberta Conservation Association and was a director from 1988 to 2002. Bob’s volunteering goes past his passion for the outdoors and right into the community of Red Deer. Bob volunteered with the Red Deer Regional Public Library for many years and the Legal Aid Society of Alberta.

The North Raven River restoration was part of the very first Bucks for Wildlife Project in Alberta. If you have been a regular follower of Bob’s column, you would have the opportunity to understand his passionate perspective on the importance of protecting public land.

It was a prividge for several members of our executive to sit and listen to Don Pike from Trout Unlimited Canada, noted authors and fly fishers: Jim McLennan and Neil Waugh to tell some fun stories that involved Bob over the years. Neil brought several books that Bob was either the author or was written about. One excerpt from John Geirach made me smile. John wrote a chapter in his book, Fool’s Paradise, about Bob’s book called the Phenological Fly. Neil enjoyed pointing out some of the thoughts that were written. It made for lots of laughter and raised eyebrows at the luncheon. Jim recalled many an adventure in his early years as a fly fisher with Bob. Bob was glad to add many anecdotes to the foray.

Don Pike presented Bob a certificate of Appreciation on behalf of Trout Unlimited Canada thanking him for his contributions for almost 5 decades to trout fishing. As Don Pike pointed out, Bob is a great friend of Trout Unlimited Canada. Bob has also made several contributions to our local chapter. His photography and books have always been included in our dinner auctions over the years.

Bob has lost lots of his mobility over the past several years because of a disease that has cause his leg muscles to atrophy. He still writes his weekly column in the Red Deer Advocate as well as other Alberta newspapers.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Piper Creek Restoration Work

Volunteers from Royal Bank of Canada, Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Red Deer Naturalists and Friends of the Red Deer River spent today planting trembling Aspen, Saskatoons, Yellow Willow and a few other native plants along Piper Creek. Bank stabilization has been completed in several areas along side culvert removal and a general cleanup along the river. The local beavers have damed up several reaches that have allowed for beaver ponds that are deep and some current! This area is right beside the Piper Creek Gardens that the City of Red Deer allow citizens of Red Deer to farm.

Lesley Peterson and Elliot Lindsay from Trout Unlimited Canada did a great job organizing all the plants, fencing, mulch and tools. We got most of the work completed by lunch time. As the saying goes, many hands make light work!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Piper Creek Restoration Project Needs Volunteers

Hi Team,

Trout Unlimited Canada with help from the City of Red Deer are working on a restoration project on Piper Creek. The project is happening just south (about 500 metres) of the Red Deer Landfill (same road)  on the east side of the road at one of the city's garden plot areas. Below is a schedule of what will be happening the last week of September. If you have a few hours to spare. head over and lend a hand!

Elliot Lindsay, a biologist for Trout Unlimited Canda, will be there to oversee and manage the project!

We are now only two weeks away from the removal of the stream crossing (exciting!) and the month is flying by. At this stage in the game, we are planning on the following activities down the home stretch. I have also included some tasks and activities that we need help with, if you are able let me know if you, or any others are interested in helping out with any of these.

Monday September 26th
-          Harvest of willow stakes at a TBD location (working on this with Ken and Suzan).
-          Bring harvested willow stakes to site for soaking (and stealing by beaver).
-          Electrofishing 300m reach downstream of existing crossing, prior to removal.

Tuesday September 27th
-          Construct partial isolation of Piper Creek for dewatering of work area on the 28th and 29th. Help needed to fill sandbags and construct isolation.
-          Test pump capacity and adjust accordingly.

Wednesday September 28th
-          Isolate work area and begin diversion of water downstream of work area.
-          Conduct fish rescue in isolated area. Need a couple people for a half day (takes time to get water pumped down, etc.). You will need to bring leak-free waders for this, or let us know and we can lend you some.
-          “Roughen” south approach to loosen soil.
-          Remove stream crossing and stockpile materials away from the creek.
-          Remove isolation and restore stream flow to channel.

Thursday September 29th
-          Haul removed materials from site to landfill.
-          “Roughen” north approach.
-          Install Bio-D blocks, incorporating live stakes. Need a few folks to help with this task.

Friday September 30th
-          TUC will be off-site in Calgary.

Saturday October 1st
-          Volunteer planting workday at site to plant rooted stock and live stakes of Willow, Poplar, etc.
-          Distribute woody debris, leaf litter, and mulch throughout disturbed/reclaimed areas.

Wednesday October 18th
-          Beaver workshop I; late afternoon event (details to follow).

To Be Confirmed

-          Beaver workshop II; planting effort to improve beaver habitat.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Central Alberta Chapter Continues its Support to Local Libraries

Doug Pullan, Secretary of the Central Alberta Chapter, presented donation cheques to representatives from the Parkland Regional Library and the Red Deer College Library. 
This is the sixth year that the Central Alberta Chapter has provided funding to purchase books and other related materials that focus on fish, fish habitat, riparian areas and ecology.
The Red Deer College Library serves a student population of approximately 4000 students. This year’s donation enhanced their library’s collection in the areas of wetlands conservation, river and stream ecosystems and Canadian fisheries history. 
The Parkland Regional Library is a cooperative network of 50 public libraries serving over 207,000 residents of Central Alberta. This year’s donation was used to purchase adult and children’s books on the topic of river and ocean ecology. 
This book purchase program has not only educated people on fish and their habitat but has also brought awareness to the issues of sustainable fish management and the challenges affecting our cold water resources.  The chapter’s executive committee has received  positive input  and has been  encouraged  to continue the program believing that education  is a key factor for people’s understanding  of the issues surrounding  our cold water resources. The idea that clean water that benefits  everyone  as well as our fisheries; encourages individuals to get involved in local projects that  result in the good stewardship  of our waters.   The Central Alberta Chapter believes education is an important part of the mission and goals of Trout Unlimited Canada and will continue with further financial contributions to local libraries in the future. 

Left to right: Ron Sheppard, Parkland Regional Library, Doug Pullan, Secretary, TUC’s Central Alberta Chapter, Kristine Plastow, Red Deer College Library

Friday, June 3, 2016

Piper Creek Restoration Project Continues June 12th

A very worthwhile restoration project is happening right here within the City of Red Deer. A section of Piper Creek is being restored just south of our landfill. This project has been coordinated through the efforts of Trout Unlimited Canada and the City of Red Deer. RBC Financial Group has made a substantial donation as well to aid the project!

This is a great project for all of us to get behind! That includes helping plant willows, saskatoons, remove a creek crossing and restore it back to its natural state! On Sunday June 12th, there will be a work half day.

You travel south on 40th Avenue just past the the landfill entrance. The Community Garden and Restoration Project area is just 300 meters south of the landfill on the east side of the road!

The project has already started thanks to Trout Unlimited Canada biologists and City of Red Deer employees.

The creek has been electrofished to see what fish are in the creek and bank stabilization and cover has also started by planting willows.

The area also has a community garden as well as a "pollinator hotel."

Take a look right on this link for more details!

Join TUC, ReThink Red Deer, and Living Lands Landscape Design for a multi-activity workday extravaganza at the Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture Project Site on June 12th, 2016 from 9:30 to 3:30. Sandwich lunch provided. Volunteers can choose from one of three activities; fence building with ReThink Red Deer, Pollinator Hotel and Butterfly Hibernaculum Construction with Living Lands Landscape Design, and Riparian Planting with Trout Unlimited Canada. Be prepared to get your hands dirty!

Contact Elliot Lindsay for any further details!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dedication of Mitchell Pond

Today was a very special day for the Mitchell family! So many made their way down through the pathways at Heritage Ranch to the pond for the dedication ceremony naming this water, Mitchell Pond! Barry until his passing was a champion of keeping our cold waters pristine. Barry and his dad, George, before him published the Alberta Fishing Guide. Barry was passionate about ensuring our trout waters and the trout that were within these waters were protected for future generations to enjoy!

We all met at Heritage Ranch. Some walked, some road their bikes and many enjoyed a hay ride down to the dedication ceremony. The naming of the pond at Heritage Ranch after Barry Mitchell was a joint project of Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited with lots of help from the City of Red Deer.

The dedication ceremony included Mayor Tara Veer, sharing her thoughts on behalf of the City of Red Deer; Doug Pullen, secretary of the Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited, thanking the Mitchell family; Jennifer Stange, Barry's daughter speaking about her passionate dad and finally we had a ceremonial cast from Barry's son, Matthew to bring the ceremony to an end.

The plaque above is a very fitting reminder to us all about who Barry Mitchell is and what he believed in!

A big thank you to all who were able to attend this special ceremony!

...Doug Pullen's speech on behalf of the Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Our Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited felt that this dedication would honour and recognize Barry Mitchell’s contributions to our fisheries, fish habitat and his promotion of environmental initiatives. Barry was a man who portrayed genuine emotion in everything he did. He addressed any issue head-on and with passion. The plaque that stands guard here at Mitchell Pond not only is a permanent legacy honouring Barry Mitchell but it also allows people to recognize the person who did so much for Alberta’s fisheries and nature’s spaces.

Passionate conservationist, fly fishermen and author with a deep respect for the environment. Longtime Red Deer resident. Active member of Trout Unlimited Canada.

These words that are etched on this plaque illustrate only a small part of Barry’s life. This story doesn’t just start with Barry, but symbolizes the core of the Mitchell family. His dad; George Mitchell, who cared deeply for our fisheries, together with his son Barry developed the Alberta Fishing Guide magazine. The magazine promoted not only fishing but also inspired good stewardship of our water resources. The Alberta Fishing Guide was eventually taken over by Barry and his wife Ann.

Barry was directly involved for over 40 years in conserving, restoring and protecting our freshwater ecosystems. Barry contributed to the fishing community extensively and was heavily involved with Trout Unlimited Canada; both with our Central Alberta Chapter as well as nationally. He spearheaded the Stream Watch Program as well as fundraised to make the program fly. He has been involved with developing policy with regards to Alberta’s fishing regulations and addressed concerns regarding our fisheries with Alberta government agencies such as the Alberta Conservation Association and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources. He played a major role in leading the initiative to have the Bull Trout declared as Alberta’s provincial fish. He paved the road to bring attention to water and forest management policies that directly affected our fisheries. 

Barry also authored his book The Trout Highway which has severed as a guide all the way up and down the forestry trunk road located in Alberta’s West Country. 

Barry was directly involved in the successful stocking of brown trout and the ill-fated rainbow stocking in the Red Deer River. Barry was awarded the Order of the Big Horn in 1998. The Government of Alberta established the Order of the Bighorn Awards in 1982 to recognize outstanding contributions made to fish and wildlife conservation by private individuals, organizations and corporations. Members of the Order of the Bighorn have enriched the lives of all Albertans by helping conserve Alberta's world-renowned fish and wildlife resources.

Even though Barry Mitchell has left us, his legacy will remain strong and provide inspiration to all who believe our fisheries and the environment are worth caring for.

Ken Leahman

Mayor Tara Veer

Doug Pullen

Jennifer Stange

Matthew Mitchell with the ceremonial cast!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dedication Of Mitchell Pond is Tuesday May 17th Starting at 11:30 a.m. at Heritage Ranch

As very special occasion will unfold tomorrow at Heritage Ranch. Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited along with the City of Red Deer and the Mitchell family will be renaming and dedicating the trout pond at Heritage Ranch. The pond will now be called Mitchell Pond!

Come and join us as we honour a very deserving family. Barry Mitchell and his dad before him published the Alberta Fishing Guide. Barry helped found the Central Alberta Chapter of Trout unlimited and he spearheaded many a project here in Central Alberta and beyond to help restore our cold water fisheries.

The dedication starts at 11:30 at Heritage Ranch. At that time, we will ride a hay wagon pulled by horsed to Mitchell Pond. The dedication there will include a speech by Mayor Veer, Doug Pullen on behalf of our Central Alberta Chapter, a few words from Barry's daughter, Jennifer and then a ceremonial cast by Barry's son, Matthew.

A plaque will be dedicated at this time as well!

Please come and join us!

Come and walk down to the pond or ride your bike or ride in the wagon. We would love to have you there!