2016—an exciting new year for Alpine Anglers

As we start the new year, I'd like to talk a bit about what to expect from us in 2016. And I'd like to solicit your help in making our vision a reality. If you're new to our chapter, welcome! As president, I'd like to meet you, hear your thoughts, and share mine. If you're an existing member, welcome back!


2015 was a good year for the chapter. We gained some new members who are already contributing to our mission (and having some fun along the way). We earned a TU Embrace-A-Stream grant for $6000 to fund, with our partners, removal of a dam on the North Fork of the Big Thompson. We turned out a dozen volunteers to help some fifth-graders catch some fish as part of a youth conservation day. We received a "Gomo" grant from Colorado TU to reprint Trout ID cards that help park visitors avoid inadvertently bonking a protected cutthroat trout. And we hosted several well-attended chapter meetings bringing you speakers on both fishing and conservation topics.


As we look ahead to 2016, here are the things I plan to focus on:


Community   I want to increase the interaction of all members with our Board of Directors and myself via phone, email, and in person. I believe we need to develop more events throughout the year, not just June, July and August. To get this started we had an Alpine Anglers coffee in December and have planned a Join-Us-for-A-Brew evening on January 13th at the Rock Cut Brewery. We'll send out details in our newsletter, The Greenbacker, so watch for that and come join us. And if you're a new member, watch out, Danny Meade, our membership chair, will be contacting you in person to learn how we can get you more involved.


Conservation We started a project last year to help the Forest Service assess flood damage on the Big Thompson above Drake. I'd like us to follow through with that effort to help them plan habitat restoration efforts as Colorado Department of Transportation completes work on Highway 34. We completed removal of the abandoned dam on the North Fork of the Big Thompson in November, but we will need volunteers to plant willows in the area and to have an additional youth fishing event to complete the project.


Youth We need to get more young people involved in fishing to increase their appreciation of wild trout and trout habitat. We hope to sponsor a youth learn-to-fly-fish day like the ones we did in 2011 and 2013. Thanks to LL Bean and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we now have 30 fly rods to use in these classes. Now we just need some volunteer help, so watch this space. .


Yes, 2016 will be some work. But it's work that can have a positive impact on our community and our fisheries. Besides, it's fun. So whether you're a new member or an existing one, I hope you'll make it a point to attend a work project, a summer meeting, or a winter social event this year. We'd like to see more of you.


Lynn Myers

President, Alpine Anglers