MDTU to Receive Gold Trout Chapter Award!

Maryland Chapter of Trout Unlimited Receives Prestigious National Award


Towson, Maryland (August 8, 2017)


The Maryland Chapter of Trout Unlimited (MDTU) has been named the recipient of national Trout Unlimited’s (TU) prestigious Gold Trout Chapter Award for 2017.


TU is a national organization with more than 300,000 members and supporters organized into chapters and councils nationwide. This dedicated grassroots army is matched by a professional staff of lawyers, policy experts and scientists, who work out of more than 30 offices across the country. The Maryland Chapter and its projects and programs are led and operated entirely by community volunteers with support and guidance from the national organization.


The Gold Trout Chapter Award is TU’s highest award for chapters. The award recognizes the chapter that over the last year took innovative and thoughtful approaches to building community and advancing the TU mission “to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds”. Chapters are judged on criteria relating to conservation, communication, member and community engagement, fundraising and chapter development. “This is quite an honor” says MDTU President Norma Haynes, “It recognizes all of the hard work our board members and volunteers have done over the past few years”.


Examples of MDTU’s recent activities, among others, include: Initiation and participation in an extensive restoration of a section of the Jones Falls just above Lake Roland, establishment of an innovative, long-term, multi-partner approach to preserving native brook trout habitat in the Upper Gunpowder Falls watershed, and launch of an ongoing series of volunteer stream cleanups, currently targeting sections of the upper Jones Falls. MDTU also supports robust youth environmental education programs. Now active in over 90 schools throughout Maryland and Washington D.C., Trout in the Classroom students raise and release their own trout with the assistance of TU volunteers, learning first-hand about fish biology and stream ecology. MDTU has led the rapid expansion on the Trout in the Classroom program throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.


Each year the chapter holds a City Catch event in partnership with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. City Catch hosts 75-100 Baltimore youth on a stream in Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, teaching participants to fish and sharing principles of aquatic conservation. A similar program – Huck Finn Day – is held annually on Stony Run. To raise resources and awareness in the community, each fall MDTU holds the popular Restoration Run, a 5k race along the Jones Falls. Members of MDTU are also are very active in the TU Mid-Atlantic Council and on the national level of the organization.


MDTU was formed in 1971 and has grown to include over 600 members primarily from Baltimore City and Baltimore and Harford Counties. MDTU meets monthly on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m., except in December, June, July, and August, at Towson Presbyterian Church. Meetings, free and open to the public, feature expert presentations on topics such as angling techniques and travel destinations, trout population surveys, and youth education and habitat conservation volunteer opportunities. In addition to MDTU members, the general public is always welcome and encouraged to attend meetings and participate in programs and projects.


MDTU President Norma Haynes will accept the Gold Trout Chapter Award at the TU national 2017 Annual Meeting in Roanoke, Virginia on September 29th.