The Fred Waara Chapter of Trout Unlimited has its home in Marquette, Michigan which is located in the north-central Upper Peninsula. We have 250 members and we meet on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Boardroom at the Landmark Inn, at 230 N. Front Street, Marquette, MI. Our elections take place at our October meeting and currently our officers are:
Virtually every stream in our area is a beautiful cold-water trout stream and we are in proximity to a great many of these; some in the Lake Superior watershed and some in the Lake Michigan watershed. These streams include the Yellow Dog, Salmon Trout, Chocolay, Escanaba and Laughing Whitefish. Many of our streams have steelhead and salmon runs. We believe we are very active in conserving, protecting and restoring these streams through a variety of endeavors.
Throughout our history we have been improving stream habitats by restoring brook trout spawning beds, installing and cleaning sediment traps and removing tag alders and beaver dams. For many years our chapter has partnered with the MDNR in the replanting several walk-in lakes in our area using both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. More recently, we have worked with the Northern Michigan University Biology Department and the National Park Service in restoring coaster brook trout in several streams in the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. These efforts included planting, tagging and tracking these coasters. This year we were awarded an Embrace-A-Stream grant to acoustically monitor the coasters in the off-shore environment at the mouths of these streams.
We have also been active in education. For several years our chapter has provided the equipment necessary to sponsor three Salmon-In-The-Classroom projects at between one and three local area schools. Over the years, we have partnered with a variety of local organizations to have youth fishing days. We sponsor a sub-chapter on the Northern Michigan campus. We have set up an annual fellowship grant for a student in a fisheries program at an Upper Peninsula University.
The money needed to finance all this work is, for the most part, raised at our annual banquet. Traditionally this banquet has been on the Friday of the week prior to the opening day of trout season. Besides a dinner, there are door prizes, raffles, a silent and verbal auction. We also award the fellowship grant. While the objective is to make money for all of our endeavors, it has been observed that members and guests may occasionally have a libation or three and be coerced to tell a fishing tale.
Our efforts have been recognized. In 2002 our chapter was the State Council Chapter of the Year. In 2003 we won the Silver Trout Award from Trout Unlimited. In 2004 we received the Clean Waters Award from the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association.