Our Klickitat Trout Unlimited Chapter No. 484 is eager to resume a variety of opportunities to involve youth in educational conservation projects. Klickitat County’s rural students are sometimes isolated, especially during the pandemic, and can benefit from firsthand science experiences in the field. For the first time in several years, we recently volunteered for Kids Free Fishing Day at Spearfish Lake. Over the next several years, we will be offering both traditional events like Kids Fishing Days and STREAM (Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Art, and Math) Explorer camps as well as new opportunities including involvement in a restoration project on the Klickitat River and STREAM after school programs.

On Saturday, June 11, members from our Klickitat TU chapter volunteered for Kids Free Fishing Day, sponsored by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Vice President Greg Short said, “The Spearfish youth fishing event was a success. Bryce Leisure, Park Ranger for The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers brought a bunch of rigged spin cast rods, bait, and tackles for the kids. They also provided a Life Jacket (Personal Flotation Device) display tale and handouts emphasizing water safety and provided a grab bag full of fun freebies for each youth in attendance.”

Klickitat TU volunteers included Dick Stentz, Tony Paolino, Greg Chokas, and Greg Short. The event was held in conjunction with Washington’s Free Fishing weekend; therefore, a fishing license was not required.

Short added, “A few trout were caught, and my group caught the non-trout Grand Slam of many yellow perch, northern pike minnow, and sculpin. The trout were not biting as well as the last event, but a good time was had by all, and there was a good turnout of both kids and adults.”

Cold water conservation is also a strong part of Klickitat Trout Unlimited’s mission. When we work together to care for and restore watersheds, it is crucial to both sustain and continue to grow the work that has been done. Our Klickitat TU youth education efforts with STREAM Explorers camps included planting trees along the eroded bank of the East Prong of the Little Klickitat River that runs through Brooks Memorial State Park. For example, campers in the future will be able to evaluate the success of previous plantings and investigate other riparian area conservation strategies.

Another project is in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service along the Klickitat River to prevent erosion and improve a stretch of the riparian area. This restoration project will be conducted over the next several years. We will be involving youth in conservation by planting native plants and providing a better understanding of the Klickitat and Columbia Rivers.

Support Klickitat cold water conservation for future generations and become a Trout Unlimited member today. Your membership helps support our STREAM Explorers Camps, river clean-ups, conservation events and more. Annual memberships start at $17.50 with options to fit every individual, family, and budget. To learn more, email us at www.klickitattu@yahoo.com or follow us on Facebook.