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Smith River TU meet, Thurs, June 2nd, Rania's uptown Martinsville VA

Started by Al, May 19, 2011, 19:23:18 PM

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Smith River Trout Unlimited will meet at Rania's Restaurant in uptown Martinsville, on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at 6:30 pm.  Steve Hiner, aquatic entomologist from VA Tech, aka "The Bug Man" will give a presentation on aquatic insect life of the Smith River with an emphasis on Mayflies, Sulfurs and Blue Wing Olives. Steve challenges everyone to bring him a sample of a recent find from the river so that he can show you how to use CSI techniques to reach a positive ID.

In addition to "Bugs"  we will discuss the following:

Plans for our annual river clean up and cookout scheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2011

Plans for SRTU a booth at the Smith River Fest,  Friday and Saturday, Aug 12 -13, 2011

Any other business which would be of interest to the membership

You do not have to be a member of TU to attend our meetings.(You must be a member in order to vote on chapter business).   Anyone who has an interest in the Smith River Fishery is encouraged to attend.

Rania's provides us with a meeting space with the expectation that the majority of attendees will purchase a meal. (Good food, moderate prices).  Address is 147 E. Main St., Martinsville, VA  24112. It is in the historic district of Martinsville known as uptown as it sits on a hill.

For information contact Chapter Pres Darrin Doss (276)340-3193 admin@dossphoto.com  Secy Al Kittredge, (910) 868-6235 aakitt@earthlink.net or check our website http://smithrivertu.com/index.html for more details and directions.


Another reminder folks - Looks to be a very good program. After the meeting Bugman and I are going to grab some fly swatters and have a duel out in the parking lot ::).  Don't miss it!

Woolly Bugger

I'm going to try and make this one, anyway to get the corps to turn the water off>>> :P :P :P

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


Quote from: Woolly Bugger on May 31, 2011, 08:51:16 AM

I'm going to try and make this one, anyway to get the corps to turn the water off>>> :P :P :P

And here we are trying to get weekend generations all summer long. 

Woolly Bugger

Bugman (Steve Hiner) gave a great presentation.

Lot's of good work still going on with stream sampling, Trout in the Classroom, and more..

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


Ditto what Woolly just said. Had a good turn out (23 by my count) and great presentation.  I will post minutes of meeting as soon as I get out from under backlog of things (Just got home) 


Here are the minutes of the meeting - Take note of "Weekend Generation" - It is a done deal. Not sure what impact it will have. Just have to learn to work around it which is fairly easy once you learn the flow rates.  If you need a map with flow rate posted on it I can email you one.

Minutes of meeting held at Ranias' Restaurant in uptown Martinsville, on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at 6:30 pm

Meeting called to order by SRTU President Darrin Doss

Twenty two  members and guests

Reading of previous meeting minutes suspended in the interest of saving time - minutes previously emailed to those on secretary's distribution list.

Treasurer Paul Fogle reported the Chapter check book balance is  $832.49. A full accounting can be obtained from Paul.

Old Business:

SRTU Website  is still evolving with many new features being added by Darrin Doss. Site can be found at http://smithrivertu.com/index.html

Weekend Generation: Since last meeting DRBA Program Manager Brian Williams has held meetings and talks with key players at COE, Dominion Power, VA Senator Warner's Office,  DGIF,  Henry County, EDC, Smith River TU, paddle groups and outfitters to discuss summer weekend generation.

The most recent meeting was last week where decisions were made. Since that meeting Brian received a letter from Senator Warner's office  announcing  the COE and Dominion Power have agreed to the following:  "the Smith River is scheduled to receive weekend water generation from Philpott Dam beginning Saturday July 2 and lasting through September 3.  This schedule can change dependent of course on flood control, drought, and other mitigating factors.  The water generation will last from 1pm-5pm each Saturday and will be at a flow of 650cfs ( one unit)".

Since receipt of that news I have corresponded with Brian Williams (DRBA) and Scott Smith (DGIF) and both agree this is not a perfect plan and will not make everyone happy (paddlers would like more water, fishermen would like less). Neither is sure what the long term impact will have on the fishery - it may be positive, negative or no impact at all.

In my opinion Brian is to be applauded for moving things beyond the usual "we need another study" response that has stymied just about every initiative in the past. For sure it will bring more people to the river, which from a fisherman's viewpoint is not good. But it will give more folks "ownership" of the river, which again in my opinion is good. The more folks who see the recreational and economic value of the river the more influence we will have when calling for tweaking of fishing regulations and making changes at the dam which previous studies have documented as essential if the river is to live up to its full potential.

Crime Stoppers & Enforcement Issues: At our March 2011 meeting David Jones reported he was in discussion with the local Crime Stoppers organization  and they agree that poachers are stealing from all of us and they are going to make up some  signs offering rewards of up to $1000 for the reporting and successful prosecution of poachers and DGIF Regulations violators.

Those signs have been made and will be placed alongside DGIF decals announcing the recent Brown Trout slot limit.

Nat Greene Flyfishers (Greensboro) member Laura Kennerly thanked SRTU members who helped with two Boy Scout events where her chapter introduced scouts to fly fishing. These were on  April 16th and April 30th

Gateway Smith River Clean Up: Several SRTU members helped with this clean up on March 19th at the  South Martinsville Canoe Access, south of the Martinsville dam in Ridgeway. The water was running but we still picked up several truckloads of trash.

Friends of Philpott Annual Expo - Saturday April 16th:  This event was cancelled due to weather.  (Smart call on someone's part)

SRTU River Clean Up & Cook Out - Saturday, August 6th, 8:00 am - 2:00 pm: Meet at the Fieldale Trail Canoe Ramp - Cook Out for all participants at end of clean up. Bring your waders, gloves and canoes.

We need help - good chance to meet like minded folks and maybe even go fishing after the cook out. (Don't forget the weekend generation from 1-5 pm will be in effect - good chance to learn to work around it)

4th Annual River Fest, Friday Aug 12th - Saturday, Aug 13th @ Smith River Sports Complex -  We will set up a table  with SRTU info and use a fly tying and casting  demonstration to draw them in. Contact Darrin Doss if you are able to help.

New Business:   No new items other then the River Clean Up and River Fest which are listed above under old business. Please take note and contact someone in the leadership to let them know you are available to help on these activities.

Meeting Theme and Feature Presentation:
Steve "Bugman" Hiner, aquatic entomologist from VA Tech, gave a very informative presentation on aquatic insect life of the Smith River. Steve is a long time Smith River fisherman as well as an aquatic entomologist so he was able to bring it down to our level. He started out by congratulating all the various local groups for coming together for the benefit of the river. Steve said  that short of major funding for changes at or near the dam, i.e. mixing tower, new turbines, and weirs to augment flows,  we are doing the right things.

He went on to say he is seeing a lot more bugs, i.e. mayflies on the river which is indicative of clean water. He also said that as much as we hate Town Creek for all the brown water it pours into the Smith right after a rain, it really does the river and its aquatic insects a lot of good due to the rich nutrients that accompany the flow.

We asked Steve to comment on the effect of Didymo (rock snot) on aquatic life. His assessment was that "the jury was still out" but in his opinion there was a danger that Didymo would crowd out other vegetation and mayflies and caddis flies would suffer. He also thought it would stimulate an increase in midges.

Steve was accompanied by Bob Jenkins retired fisheries biologist from Roanoke College and long time Smith River fisherman. Bob gave a "history lesson" on the decline of aquatic insects from the mid 70s up to present time. Bob also passed out a very good handout which documented his findings.

Brian Williams, DRBA Program Manager rounded out the evening by showing several video clips of nymphs as they crawled and drifted along in various sections of the Smith. (Good stuff - now if we can make our offerings look like that we will get a hit on every cast!)

Next regular SRTU meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 1, 2011. Program to be announced as soon as we receive a confirmation from our proposed guest speaker.

Any errors or omissions in these minutes are entirely mine.


I enjoyed the meeting except for the boaters.  Stephen did a great job.  See you in September.  I don't have the time to fight 4 hours generation in July and August.  I hope everything works out.


Good work Al.  'c;

650 cfs sounds like perfect streamer water.


Quote from: troutrus on June 10, 2011, 16:53:48 PM

Good work Al.  'c;
650 cfs sounds like perfect streamer water.

I have heard from some who are not happy with 4 hours of water. I tend to agree that it is more about the paddlers and not much about the fishermen. By fishermen I am was referring to the wade fishermen.

I have been told you need at least two hours with one turbine to get the water up so the paddlers can use it. Ive also been told one turbine is best for paddlers because with two it is too fast for most of the local paddlers.  I'm also told that one turbine makes for some excellent fishing for those who like to raft or canoe it and fish at the same time. As Troutrus pointed out there are some wide areas where you can still wade and cast a streamer. Might be a whole new fishery - We will see!

I know I would have voted for two hours and compromised at three but no one asked me :'(. They did ask me a few months back but no recent input was requested. I also thought it should have been two hours on both Saturday and Sunday.  I guess four during mid day on Saturday is somewhere in the middle. I also know that if you try to please everyone, nothing gets accomplished. Done deal now and I can live with it.