On October 5 in Fayetteville, AK at the Trout Unlimited National Meeting, the WestSlope Chapter of Trout Unlimited was honored with the Silver Trout Award. Trout Unlimited has 387 chapters across the country and the Silver Trout is its second highest chapter award.
In presenting the award, Jeff Yates, VP for Volunteer Programs cited the following reasons for receiving the Silver Trout:
- Membership engagement with great programs and significant member turn outs from 125 to 275 members attending per meeting, with growth in chapter membership to 750 people.
- Conservation funding with $132,750 returned to stream passage, irrigation screening, dam removal and stream stabilization among other projects, with another $15,000 returned to fly fishing education and advocacy.
- Funding half of the salary for a Rock Creek Project Coordinator for two years, which directly led to other Montana TU chapters providing similar funding on the Jefferson.
- The successful Women’s Initiative led by Kate Hastelik, with 13 events in the last year with more than 100 women involved.
- The Chapter’s Veteran Program, led by Paul Butler, which marshaled the tying and donation power of the Montana TU chapters to deliver a stunning 32,000 flies to Warriors and Quiet Waters over two years. Plus, based on our work, an anonymous donor contributed $18,000 for a wheelchair accessible drift boat.
- The Chapter’s work to share its successes with fundraising, banquets and auctions and programs with other Montana TU chapters.
Mark Kuipers, Chapter President, was in Fayetteville to accept the award and in his remarks said: “This award is a testament to the hard work and generosity of our chapter members, the board of directors, our four great fly shops and the Missoula business community. Missoula is a very special place and together we are making it even better for generations to come.”