The Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited

T r o ut L i n es
Message From President, Mike Beachy
I have been re-elected for another one-year term as president of the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I was somewhat reluctant but honored. I guess that means that I didn’t screw up too badly last year. I feel like I should expound on all the projects that I would like to accomplish in 2008 however I am not going to do that. In our last newsletter I tried to update everyone on where we were with our present projects and where we are heading with those. I thought the November newsletter was very informative. If I were to set a goal for 2008 it would have to be to get a greater number of our chapter members involved. The only way to get more folks involved is to have a project that requires manpower to pull off successfully. I am planning on doing some river clean up projects this spring and summer that will require assistance from our membership. The lower portion of the catch and release section of stream is mainly wooded. There are places in the river where dead fall timber have created logjams that restrict the river flow. The river could use our help by “rearranging and anchoring” these logs to be more conducive for trout habitat and less likely to reform jams. Logjam removal needs to be done carefully since these logs are what create the deeper holes and hold down water temperature. If a logjam gets too clogged it will slow the water flow and reduce the oxygen level, not mention make fishing impossible. Trash accumulation needs to be addressed too. Last year we cleaned a short section of stream that I didn’t think was all that bad however we easily managed to remove a canoe’s worth if trash, much to the property owners delight. I urge you to volunteer when the call-out is issued. Projects like this build camaraderie and establish friendships. They give volunteers a feeling of accomplishment and make for good relations with property owners. While we are working the conversation is always on fishing and concerns for our home water, the Little Elkhart River.

Volume 2, Issue 1 February 2008 Inside This Issue:
Presidents Message Dave Arrington Addresses Chapter Little Elkhart Receives Rebate Carmel Orvis Store Program Brown Trout Jumpstart Program Little Elkhart Officers Directory Fishing Report Oliver-Olin Lake Feature Fly From Leonard Gustin Adopt a Trout Fundraiser Meeting Minutes

1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5-6 7-8

Michael L. Beachy President Little Elkhart Chapter

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Dave Arrington Addresses Chapter
At the December 12th chapter meeting Dave Arrington spoke to our members. Dave is the President of LGL Natural Resource Associates and a senior wildlife ecologist. He is in charge of putting together a watershed management plan for the Little Elkhart River drainage system and then implementing best management practices. Dave’s project started over three years ago with water quality testing and a land use inventory. Dave and his crew test the water quality in a variety of ways however it is the automated sampling machine that can give him data every two minutes and is recorded on a computer. The auto sampler is a very effective way to monitor the water quality and the changes it goes through during a high water event. Dave explained that the major problem with the water quality of the Little Elkhart River is directly attributed to livestock and farming practices. The Little Elkhart River contains levels of phosphorous, nitrates and E-coli that are far above target levels. Manure run off during high water events confirms these findings. Sediment levels in the Little Elkhart River elevate drastically during high water run off due to live stock having direct access to the river proper and the ditches that feed the river. The livestock will trample the banks causing erosion and sedimentation run off. This sedimentation of the river covers the rocks and gravel inhibiting bug life that are key to trout survival. Dave has identified the major sources of these problems and is in the restoration phase project. In his presentation Dave showed photographs of a barnyard before and after a restoration. The creek was fenced off 20 feet from the waters edge, preventing cattle direct access. Seasonal grasses were planted in the buffer to build up a natural filter between the pasture and the creek. A crossing was then constructed with fencing and lined with stones. Cattle do not like to stand on the stones and will prevent the livestock from standing directly in the water, as they often do in the heat of the summer. The stone prevents sediments from running into the creek during rains and keeps the banks intact on either side. Dave has his work cut out for him. In the headwater area alone he has identified over fifteen miles of river and creek that will require fencing improvements like he outlined. Thanks to Dave and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of LaGrange and Elkhart Counties our home waters will see water quality improvements that will have a lasting effect.

Little Elkhart Chapter Receives T.U. Rebate
On January 25th Stephanie Davison from Trout Unlimited National forwarded the Little Elkhart Chapter our year-end rebate check. The check represents $2.50 per paid active member. Currently our active membership is 291. This equates to a $727.50 rebate check for our general fund.

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Carmel Orvis Store Program on Trout Fishing Northern Indiana
On February 16th the Orvis store located in Carmel, Indiana hosted a seminar on trout fishing in northern Indiana. President Mike Beachy and Vice President Leonard Gustin, from our chapter, presented the program. We made our “Trout Fishing the Little Elkhart River” guide available for a reasonable donation to the chapter. $150 was raised by selling raffle tickets to benefit the Brown Trout Jumpstart Adopt - A - Trout. This was a great opportunity to spread the word about the Little Elkhart River from local life-long trout fishermen who are familiar with the stream. Contact the fly shop manager for information about future programs. Telephone (317) 2496000 or contact the store via email at:

Brown Trout Jumpstart Program Gets Approval
In late January the Little Elkhart Chapter got the okay from DNR fisheries director Bill James to proceed with our plans to stock brown trout in the Little Elkhart River. We all owe Jim Phillips a big “thank you” for all the work he put into writing a formal proposal to state our position. Without that document I believe our request would not have been considered. In the proposal Jim outlined the reasons why our chapter wanted to stock browns into the catch and release section and what we are attempting to accomplish. 2007 statistics showed that while the early season rainbow trout catches were good, averaging nearly 2 fish per fisherman hour, the warming of the water in late July and August showed a drop in the rainbow trout population and a decrease in angling success. In the later summer season brown trout made up the bulk of the trout caught however the brown trout population was not yet high enough to support a good year round trout fishery. The Elkhart Conservation Club stocks brown trout at the fingerling stage and in the fall of 2007, for the first time, stocked fish directly into the catch and release section. These trout will not be of sufficient size to provide the quality of fishery, we are hopping to establish, for several years. Our plan is to stock 500 eight to ten inch brown trout, each year for the next three years, to “jumpstart” the brown trout population. This will immediately have an effect on our late season fishery by providing trout that are able to withstand the summer water temperatures available to fishermen in the catch and release section. The DNR has requested that our stocked trout be finclipped in a rotational fashion, a different fin each year. These fish can then be differentiated from the brown trout stocked by the Elkhart Conservation Club and identified as to the year they were stocked. This will eventually lead to data that can be used in the future. Will brown trout stay near the stocking site or will they migrate? How far do these brown trout migrate from the original stocking site? Do the larger brown trout have a better chance of survival then the fingerling size stocked fish? How much growth do these brown trout exhibit over what period of time? These are all questions that can be answered by fin clipping. The DNR is very interested in our results and could very well lead to modifications in the state’s trout stocking program. The cost of this stocking program will be an estimated $1350. Monies will need to be raised to proceed. We will be doing a fund raising raffle to cover the expenses required. I hope that you will all see the importance of this project and participate. If we all chip in we can have a substantial impact on our home waters and improve our trout fishery.

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Little Elkhart Chapter Officers Directory
President.........................Michael V. President.....................Leonard Secretary.........................Lee Treasurer.........................Chris Newsletter Editor.............Brandon

Oliver-Olin Lakes for Prime Trout Ice Fishing
By Mike Beachy On a recent trout ice-fishing outing to Olin Lake I was able to catch two rainbows and a brown in about 4 hours. I lost several others attempting to land the fish through the hole. The trout were caught in 12 to 20 feet of water on a white ice-fishing jig tipped with a wax worm. Utilizing a “fish locator” I was able to see the fish come onto the flasher and was able to entice them to bite almost every time. The cooperative trout were hard fighters making several long runs so a spinning reel with a smooth drag is a must. The trout seem to move through about every 20 minutes or so cruising along the edge of the drop off. They seem to be wandering nomads rather then a tightly packed school. The rainbows I caught were stocked last spring by the DNR and averaged around 16 inches. Bill Wert was fishing nearby and caught a nice “hold over” rainbow that was considerably larger. The brown trout I caught was 13 inches in length and was most likely stocked last year by Northeastern Indiana Trout Association out of Fort Wayne. NEITA has been putting brown trout in the Oliver Lake chain for several years. Brown trout in the Oliver Lake chain fall under special Indiana rules and have to be 18 inches or better to keep although I would encourage practicing catch and release. NEITA is attempting to establish a trophy brown trout fishery in these lakes and has put a lot of time, effort and money into doing so. We need to support their project.

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Fly of the Month: Bead Head Squirrel by Leonard Gustin
Hook: Size10 to 14 Mustad 3906b or equivilant Thread: 3/0 black or brown Tail: Red squirrel Body: Squirrel or hares ear dubbing Head: Appropiate size tungsten bead
The fly shown is a size 10. For a 10 slip a 5/32 or 3/16 tungsten bead on. Tie the thread on at the midway of the hook. Wrap to eye and back to tail. Add squirrel hair for tail, about thickness of matchstick and length of shank. Dub body and wrap to eye, tie, and whip finish 3 or 4 turns behind head. Add a drop or two of head cement.

Adopt–A–Trout Fundraiser
Sponsored by the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited LECTU received approval from the IDNR to stock 500 eight-to-ten inch browns each year in the Little Elkhart catch-and-release section for the next three years. This program study is designed to “jumpstart” the number of quality size trout in the Little Elkhart River. In each of the three years, the 500 tout will be fin clipped so that each year is represented. The left pectoral fin in 2008, right pectoral in 2009 and the left ventral in 2010. This will give IDNR fisheries biologist critical information regarding survival rates and migration during shocking studies. Creel survey by anglers will be very helpful. In order to fund this program, LECTU is asking each member to “Adopt” at least one trout for stocking. The Cost is $10.00 for each Trout. As an added incentive to this exciting opportunity, LECTU will be offering the following: 1.Each contributor will receive a copy of our “Fishing Guide to The Little Elkhart River”. This guide gives detailed descriptions to all of the fishable sections as well as access points. 2.Each Contribution will be entered into a raffle drawing for the following prizes: a.1st Prize = 8’ 6” 3 wt. Orvis Frequent Flyer Rod with an Orvis Battenkill Mid Arbor II reel b.2nd Prize = Cabela’s 4’ 6” Trout Series Spin Rod with Cabela’s Prestige PT1500 Spinning Rod. Instructions: Please complete the form below for each Trout you would like to “Adopt”. Photocopies are o.k. If you do not provide an e-mail address, please enclose an S.A.S.E. so that we may send you the fishing guide. Mail the form and SASE along with $10.00 for each trout to: Adopt A Trout 13777 C.R. 8 Middlebury, IN 46540

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Adopt A Trout 13777 C.R. 8 Middlebury, IN 46540

Adopt A Trout Fundraiser
Name: Phone: Email:

Please enclose 1 form and $10 for EACH trout you would like to adopt. The Drawing for the Rods will be held at the spring outing.

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Meeting Minutes - February 13, 2008
Treasurer’s Report We received a rebate check from Trout Unlimited for $727.50 reflecting 291 members. Since there is no state council, our chapter receives the entire amount. Trout Unlimited has indicated that they would like to deposit future checks electronically. Brown Trout Jump Start Project Jim Phillips reported that we have been approved to receive and release 500 brown trout 8 – 10 inches long for the next three years. In order to save transportation costs, the trout shipment will be combined with the Northeast Indiana Trout Association (NEITA). While the LECTU members would rather stock the trout after opening day, we will need to work with the NEITA schedule in order to save transportation costs. Their schedule is to stock during the two weeks prior to opening day. The trout will cost approximately $1.95 each. The State of Indiana will require us to fin clip the trout on a rotation basis to determine statistical data by year class. The DNR has a keen interest in this project. It is hoped that a successful project will result in the DNR also stocking brown trout in the future. The plan is to stock these trout in the catch and release area. Various accesses were discussed with concerns about getting the stocking truck to the river due to soft soil conditions. Last resort would be to stock at the CR 43 bridge. Mike Beachy sent a Thank You letter to Bill James for granting approval for the Jump Start project. Brown Trout Fundraiser Chris Miller has put together a flyer that will be sent out with the newsletter with ticket information for the Adopt A Trout raffle, to support the Jump Start project. The newsletter will be sent via email for those we have email addresses. The remainder will be sent US Mail. Lynn Roose has secured a corporate sponsor that will match up to $660.00 of what we raise in our fundraiser with the stipulation that they will only match fundraiser revenue and not general operating funds. The raffle top item will be an Orvis fly rod and Battenkill reel. Second place will be a Cabelas light spin rod and reel. Orvis Seminar The Carmel Orvis Shop is hosting a seminar on Northern Indiana trout on February 16th. Mike Beachy and Lenard Gustin will represent LECTU at the seminar. The Orvis Manager (Jason Shockey) wants us to focus on our conservation efforts. We will be selling raffle tickets along with the Little Elkhart River guide at the seminar. Communications Newsletter articles have been forwarded to Brandon Rasler. Brandon reported that his employer may supply the newsletter printing in exchange for ad space. In the future, Brandon will send out a meeting reminder one week prior to the meeting.

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Meeting Minutes - February 13, 2008 - Cont.
Conservation Mike reported that the Elkhart County Drainage Board had proposed a project to clean up the Rowe Eden Ditch. This included clear cutting one bank back 30 feet and clear cut the opposite bank up to the high water mark. In addition, they were going to remove all obstacles from the ditch. The intent of this is to improve flow to reduce flooding. Mike found out from Neil Ledet that the Drainage Board will not be able to do the in-stream work because of the lack of permits, however they can still do the bank work. Mike sent a well written letter to the Drainage Board stating the position of LECTU. Mike plans to walk the stream with Neil Ledet and the County Surveyor to better understand the situation and also to determine if LECTU can do some of the work. Clean-Up Projects: Mike suggested that we set one Saturday each month in May thru August for stream work.

Spring Outing
There was a lot of discussion about the spring outing in relation to schedule, location and content. Don Fiwek stated that he would like to have the opportunity to take a tour of the river and given some pointers as to how to fish the stream by other experienced members. It was felt that this was a great idea. It was also mentioned that we could have some fly tying demonstrations. The spring outing will be held May 10th at the River Bend Park in Middlebury. Since this is after opening day, it was suggested that we post some flyers about the club at strategic locations such as Bonneyville Mill and River Bend Park for opening day fishermen. Next Meeting – March 12, 2008 at 7:00 PM at the Middlebury Library Lee Troyer – Secretary

The Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited 13777 C.R. 8 Middlebury, IN 46540 Email: rasler@

Meeting Notice The Little Elkhart Chapter Meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7:00 P.M. at the Middlebury Public Library