The impact of the new coronavirus, which is the cause of COVID-19, has not only caused serious problems around the world, but has affected the lives of all in America, including the undertaking of the normal functions of Trout Unlimited.
The first item that needs to be brought to light is that this months’ meeting of the Coosa Valley chapter of TU has been canceled. We had planned on having Jeff Durniak as a speaker and he will be rescheduled for a meeting in the future.
Jeff is one of the most knowledgeable trout anglers in the Southeast and a great speaker. Be on the lookout for him at a future meeting. Other Georgia chapters of TU are also canceling meetings and some events.
For several years now the Coosa Valley chapter has been doing stream improvements on Rock Creek in Murray County. The April workday has been canceled by the US Forest Service. We hope to reschedule and will let our members know as soon as possible. Other workdays and events in our National Forests can possibly be canceled or postponed by the Forest Service and I will let you know as soon as I know.
The Georgia Council of TU has also been affected by the response to COVID-19. The drawing for the Dream Trip fly fishing trip for two has been delayed until approximately April 16. The drawing was to occur at the Hoot on the Hooch in Helen this weekend. That event has been canceled. As a result there are still a few tickets available and I currently have some available.
Please call me at 706-766-5083 or email email@example.com if you are interested in buying some. The sale of these tickets is vital to the success of the Georgia Trout Camp.
I spoke with John Damer of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division, and as of now all functions of the DNR are going as normal. He said that fish are not affected by the virus and it is OK to eat the fish that are caught. In fact, between now and next Saturday, the historic opening day of trout season, all trout streams in Georgia that are normally stocked will be stocked.
I was also updated on other fishing opportunities in the area. The white bass have started their spawning run. The male white bass are showing up along the banks of the Coosa River. The males usually arrive a few weeks ahead of the females, and this year is no exception.
These scrappy fighters are a little larger than last years’ fish, so the fun will be bigger also. John also said that a few striped bass are being found in the Oostanaula River upstream of Rome. Just as happens with the white bass, male fish are the first to show up for spawning.
So far the medical community has said that fresh air and sunshine is good for you and that the main thing is to avoid close contact with other people. I cannot think of a better thing to take your mind off of this situation than to grab your fishing rod and head to a nearby stream or river.
The sunshine may be hard to find, but the fish should be plentiful. Fishing does not require a crowd, and in fact trout fishing is usually best when anglers do not all crowd together. So, avoid crowds both large and small, grab your fishing rod and catch some fish.
We at Coosa Valley TU wish all of you the best of health and a lot of fish. Trout are loaded with Omega-3 and are one of the healthiest fish to eat. Be looking for more updates on TU activities and changes with the USFS and Georgia DNR in upcoming articles.