Virginia TU announces 2014 award recipients

At its fall meeting, the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited presented awards to a number of chapters and members for their work in advancing TU’s mission in 2014. We’d like to thank the following recipients for their outstanding contributions to coldwater conservation.

Conservation Project of the Year

Garth Run Restoration, Thomas Jefferson Chapter

Garth Run, a native brook trout stream that is a tributary of the Rapidan River, was decimated by the 1995 flood. Trout were extirpated from the entire stream. Restocking efforts repopulated part of the stream, but a 2,500-foot stretch remained without trout due to flood damage to the stream channel. The Thomas Jefferson Chapter, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, National TU, VCTU, and the adjacent landowner, collaborated to restore the section to suitable tout habitat. Stream restoration and planting projects were completed in 2014 and sampling indicates that trout have returned to the restored section.

Mike Barbour Memorial Award

Bill Campbell, Bill Wills Southeastern Virginia Chapter

Bill Campbell has been conducting fly-fishing seminars at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake for 18 years. The seminars are held the first Saturday of each month in December, January, February and March.  Each seminar includes a classroom introduction to fly fishing, practice casting on the pond, and fly tying.  With the assistance of several club members, all seminar participants leave the event having cast a fly rod and tied their own fly. To date, over 1,400 people have received their introduction to fly fishing at these events.

Youth Educator of the Year

Suzanne Malone, Northern Virginia Chapter

Suzanne Malone has been involved with the Tri-State Conservation and Fishing Camp held annually at  Graves Mountain for over 10 years. She serves as lead counselor and assistant camp director. Her influence on campers and counselors has helped lead many of them into careers in conservation and the environmental sciences.

Conservationist of the Year

Fred Fox, Rapidan Chapter

When the Madison County Board of Supervisors announced plans to develop a road through the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area and open it to tourist buses, many outdoor- and sportsmen-related groups were alarmed. The area is quite popular with hunters, fishermen, hikers, and horseback riders. Fred Fox quietly went about researching the potential negative impacts of the proposal and brought together numerous groups who successfully put a halt to project.

Award of Excellence

Jason McGarvey, Virginia Outdoors Foundation

Jason McGarvey, a member of the Virginia Capital Chapter, has been instrumental in protecting brook trout habitat through his work at the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. Five properties encompassing 1,000 acres in the headwaters of the James and Shenandoah Rivers are now permanently protected thanks to Jason’s coordination with private landowners, VOF field staff, and TU staff. He also serves as a sounding board to National TU and VCTU concerning legislation and  policies that affect TU programs.

VCTU Council Award of Excellence

Thomas Jefferson Chapter

In addition to the Garth Run project, the Thomas Jefferson Chapter was involved in several other worthy endeavors in the last year. Working with their partner, Therapeutic Adventures, the chapter helped put on a weekend Fly Fishing Retreat for the Disabled in November, and a Women’s Fly Fishing and Conservation Retreat for cancer survivors in April. They also sponsor the Kid’s Fishing Day at Mint Springs Park in Crozet, and continue to oversee the Moorman’s River Special Regulation Section.

Certificates of Appreciation

Bill Bainter – Roanoke Chapter

Larry Sledge – Skyline Chapter

Tim Hamilton – Skyline Chapter

Andy Manley – NOVA Chapter

John Hadley – NOVA Chapter

Bill Errico – NOVA Chapter

Otto Barnes – NOVA Chapter

Taylor Blackwell – NOVA Chapter

Gary Visgaitis – NOVA Chapter

Bob Bidwell – NOVA Chapter

Roger Brown – NOVA Chapter

Anna Harris – NOVA Chapter

Kiki Galvin – NOVA Chapter

Tony Pane – Mt. Empire Chapter

Stan Ikonen – Winchester Chapter

The Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited is made up of representatives of the state’s 16 TU chapters.