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Old 07-21-2010, 10:09 PM
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Stana Claus Stana Claus is offline
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Default What's the difference between the local TU chapters?

I think I'd like to join one of the local TU chapters, but I'm a little bit curious as to why there are three different chapters so close together. In the little bit of poking around that I've done, I've figured out that the Little River Chapter in Maryville split off from the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter in Knoxville to work with the Park Service to improve the fishery in the park, but what does the GSM chapter do now? Was the split amicable (unlike many of the typical church splits that we won't talk about here)? And what about the Clinch River chapter. I'm really more interested in the mountain streams than the tailwaters, but I don't know that I want to focus exclusively on the GSMNP. So, what do you folks recommend? Or should I just sit in on a chapter meeting or two with each group and see which one feels better?
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:45 PM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default TU Chapters

The chapters are different, and you should go to one which suits you best. The Little River is the most active to my knowledge, ie Troutfest and meeting consistently. The Great Smoky Mountains group has some people who are active, but the chapter is not doing much these days. As for the Clinch River; similar (though someone may correct me) to GSM in that they have some active people, but as a chapter aren't doing much these days.
I would have to steer you toward Little River, though I am a member of GSM. They are active, and you will find that their members do more than just fish the park, or even trout for that matter.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:33 AM
waterwolf waterwolf is online now
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This could make some folks mad, so I will try to tiptoe in with what little tact I posess.

Both the Little River and GSM chapters have done some really worthwhile things in the past. Notably the GSM championed the Quality Zone on the Clinch years ago, which was overturned by pressure from another organization known as LUCRO. Both have been heavily involved in projects in the Park over the years. I have not been to a TU meetings in eons, but they used to be a heck of alot of fun and informative.

The Clinch chapter is a different story. What started as a good chapter which sponsored river cleanups, and bank restoration projects became infiltrated by LUCRO the very organization which aims to never have any sort of special management on the river. The river clean-up projects were great, except for the tire removal aspect. What none of the people understood was that by removing the tires valuable habitat was lost. When we were hauling tires into our drift boats it was amazing the numbers of sculpins and stuff which used the tires as cover. We also, reared 700,000 fingerling rainbows a year for 3 years, which were raised from fish spawning in Clear Creek.

This is my opinion, the Clinch Chapter as of late seems to do nothing for the river. There are no more river clean ups, no more bank projects, no work done on the tribs in relation to spawning assistance. Several of their members came out in serious opposition to the new Slot limits, and several of their members have been witnessed and reported violating the slot limit on the Clinch as recently as last week. Some of this is third hand info, so take it for its worth.

If I was wishing to join one of the chapters I would look at the GSM or Little River. They have their priorities right IMO.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:02 PM
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GrouseMan77 GrouseMan77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
This could make some folks mad, so I will try to tiptoe in with what little tact I posess.
I'll give you props for the restraint and will use some myself.

Stana Claus - like you, I fish the mountains more than the tail waters. So there is a natural draw to an organization that does so much for the park. I have attended and few LR chapter meetings and got a good feeling at each one. Seems to be a great bunch of folks.

That said, I am not currently a TU member. I let my membership expire a few months ago and need to attend a LR meeting to make sure they get credit for my membership.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:54 AM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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Hi Santa,

When the Little River Chapter split off from the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter it was planned and amicable. I attended the board meetings of GSMC during the transition and served as the first President of the LRC. Both chapters still work together on the Acid Deposition Project in the Park and other projects. Our goal from the very beginning was to include both chapters in the Park projects. Members from both the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter and the Clinch River Chapter serve as volunteers at Troutfest and more are welcome and encouraged to participate. A member of the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter coordinates all volunteer efforts in the Park. A member of the Clinch River Chapter serves on the Troutfest Steering Committee.

The idea to form a new chapter to work directly with the Park came from the Tennessee Council of TU in 1992. Bill Guinn, who was Chairman at the time contacted me.

The Clinch River Chapter is heavily involved in education. They hold some great fly tying classes during the winter and hold a fly fishing school for youth in the Spring. They are also working on the new Trout Camp to be held at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Other chapters will be involved in that. Funding will come from several chapters.

Byron
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:09 AM
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Stana Claus Stana Claus is offline
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Thanks for the info, everyone. Follow-up question - If I join a chapter and decide that it's not the right fit, how hard is it to switch my membership to a different chapter?
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