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Trout Unlimited Southwestern Vermont Chapter

posted Sep 15, 2015, 10:44 AM by Lyn Munno   [ updated Sep 15, 2015, 10:46 AM ]

Chapter President Jackie Jordan catches a whopper

Southwestern Vermont is home to one of the four active Trout Unlimited chapters in the state (the others are Central Vermont, MadDog, and Upper Valley). Like most TU groups, the Southwestern Vermont chapter happily combines a shared love of fishing with volunteer service to promote healthy aquatic habitat and educate the public about rivers. 

The chapter is lucky to have the enthusiastic leadership of Jackie Jordan, an Orvis employee who has immersed herself in the world of flyfishing during her free time.

TU Southwestern VT Chapter board members at the annual banquet, 2015

Twelve board members share governance of the chapter, including Secretary Gordon Batcheller who also serves on the Watersheds United Vermont Steering Committee. Monthly board meetings often feature an educational speaker or tales of fishing adventures. The annual banquet and auction, a signature event in the calendar of TU chapters all across the country, is a chance to celebrate as well as raise funds to support chapter activities.

The Southwestern Vermont TU Chapter sponsors volunteer opportunities that support healthy river habitat in the region, and also hosts just-for-fun events throughout the year. Activities over the past year include: 
  • a pre-season session to practice casting and knot-tying and swap gear;

  • a showing of the film DamNation;

  •  inventory of stream barriers on the Mettawee River with regional TU staff;
 Art, Joe, Tyler, Gabe, Gordon, Mary, Erin and Chuck survey stream barriers on the Mettawee River.


Tree planting at the Dufresne Dam site, November, 2014

  • annual fly fishing film tour;


Orvis hosts this tour annually, with proceeds going to Southwestern Chapter TU.

  • “Flies and Pies” night where members learn new fly tying techniques and enjoy pizza with friends;
2014 Flies and Pies Night

  • fishing derby co-sponsored with the Green Mountain National Forest at Hapgood Pond in Peru, VT.
24th annual Fishing Derby at Hapgood Pond

  • Trout in the Classroom. TU supplies each classroom with equipment and trout eggs so students can observe the life cycle and growth of trout before releasing fry into a local stream. Chapter member Joe Mark coordinates the program across the state, and in 2014 delivered 900 trout eggs to 5 different classrooms.
Trout in the Classroom students release their trout fry into the Mettawee River.

Southwestern Vermont’s Trout Unlimited Chapter obviously has a lot of fun while doing good deeds for local rivers. As Gordon Batcheller, chapter secretary and long-time wildlife professional notes, “Volunteers are an essential part of fish and wildlife conservation not only in Vermont, but across the country. State fish and wildlife agencies need the talent, skills, and energy of the many conservation volunteers across the country to advance our collective vision for healthy ecosystems. Trout Unlimited volunteers in Vermont are a key component of keeping Vermont waters clean and healthy.”