Photo by Brett Austin Winchel
Trout Unlimited in Tennessee
The Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited (TU) is a coalition of volunteers from the state’s eight TU chapters who serve as the key link between local chapters and the national TU organization.
The mission of the council, like that of TU nationally, is to conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries. Throughout Tennessee, the council leads advocacy efforts, fosters widespread understanding of the significance of the coldwater resource and nurtures chapter development and grassroots conservation.
Among the Tennessee Council’s current programs are the following:
* Supporting the Great Smoky Mountains Trout Adventure Camp for middle school girls and boys, held each June in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For more information, click here.
* Working with the chapters to contribute money and volunteers for restoration of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee Aquarium and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s Tellico Hatchery. The success of this work led to an award from the American Fisheries Society; for details, click here.
* Offering grants up to $10,000 to Tennessee TU chapters for coldwater fisheries conservation projects from the Tennessee Chapter Grants Program, funded by the Tennessee TU conservation automobile license plate. For information about our most recent grants, click here.
* Encouraging establishment of Trout in the Classroom programs throughout the state to teach youngsters in grades K-12 about aquatic habitats and creatures, and about the importance of preserving and protecting them. For more, click here.
* Making a special effort to attract young people, women and military veterans to active participation in TU—enlarging our capabilities for grassroots conservation work.
* Establishing liaison among Tennessee TU chapters; helping them solve problems ranging from fundraising to membership recruitment; guiding them in carrying out TU’s national policies and objectives; helping them communicate with national TU staff, the National Leadership Council and the Board of Trustees.
As a result of these programs and of hard work by TU volunteers statewide, the Tennessee Council brought home two TU National Conservation Awards from the 2015 annual meeting in Scranton, Pennsylvania, plus national recognition for a Tennessee volunteer. For details on these and other awards, click here.
The Tennessee Council, despite all its connections to the chapters and the national organization, is an autonomous entity, holding its own employer identification number and filing its own tax forms. For more information about the council’s structure, click here to read the council bylaws. For a list of the Tennessee chapters and their contact information, click here.
Leaders of the Tennessee Council are:
Help Smokies Fisheries
If you enjoy fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park—or just visiting there—you can add to your experience by becoming a volunteer with fisheries activities in the park.
To volunteer, get in touch with the Tennessee coordinator for volunteer activities in the park: Charlie Chmielewski, firstname.lastname@example.org or (865) 661-7325.