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