The Early Days of Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited was founded on the banks of the Au Sable River in 1959 because of anglers’ overwhelming opposition to the Michigan DNR’s indiscriminate planting of hatchery trout in waters capable of sustaining wild, naturally reproducing trout. Over the next three years, TU’s founding fathers, together with a host of nationally recognized fisheries scientists, ultimately convinced Governor George Romney and DNR leaders to adopt wild trout management policies which focused on maintaining water quality, while protecting and restoring instream habitat.
It was this large-scale shift in fisheries management philosophy in Michigan that set the stage for TU to become the enduring national coldwater conservation organization it is today. Soon, TU chapters were springing up throughout the country. To this day, sound scientific management of our coldwater resources remains the backbone of the organization.
As with any fledgling organization, the secret to success ultimately lies with its leaders. From the onset, Trout Unlimited was fortunate to have a host of talented volunteer leaders, including financiers, members of the press, scientists, lawyers and people from all walks of life. Even so, the early days of Trout Unlimited had its share of trials and tribulations.
In reviewing the organization’s early records, it becomes very clear that, when momentum slowed and times seemed uncertain, it was Art Neumann’s singular vision and evangelical zeal that provided the spark necessary to galvanize the membership and overcome obstacles as they popped up. During Art’s two-plus years as TU’s executive director, he propelled the organization to national prominence by doubling the size of the organization through the addition of 30 new chapters.
A Memorial in Celebration of a Lifetime of Coldwater Conservation Leadership
To recognize the compelling and substantial contributions Art made to Trout Unlimited throughout his life, Michigan Trout Unlimited is pleased to spearhead the construction of the Arthur C. Neumann Trout Unlimited Memorial at the Lovells Museum of Trout Fishing History on the North Branch of the Au Sable River.
WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US in this effort by making a tax-deductible contribution to make this memorial a reality. Rest assured 100% of your contribution will go to meeting the cost of construction.