Trout Unlimited more than a social club

Tri Lakes Tribune
By Norma Engelberg

A lot of people think Trout Unlimited is just a social club dedicated to fly fishing. Erik Heikkenen, president of the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, says the organization is much more. “We do love to fly fish but for the last 25 years we have worked on numerous watershed conservation and restoration projects,” he said. “We’ve concentrated most of our work on the South Platte in Eleven Mile Canyon on the Trees for Trout project. We use trees taken from the Hayman Fire burn area and use them to stabilize the banks. Some of the timbers are placed in the stream bed to provide more trout habitat.”

The first project for the local Trout Unlimited chapter was work on Trout Creek north of Woodland Park in 1986.

“Grazing cattle had destroyed the banks and we did a lot of work restoring them,” Heikkenen said. “Later the beaver moved in and undid some of our work but much of it is still there.”

The organization has also worked with the Fountain Creek Restoration Committee to restore the creek banks in Manitou Springs.“We’ve restored the creek from Soda Springs Park to Memorial Park,” Heikkenen said. “We’ll finish up at Mansion and Fields parks.”In the last few years, Trout Unlimited’s Trout in the Classroom program has also been very popular. Trout Unlimited provides large aquariums, training and trout eggs and students see what it takes for trout to go from eggs to fry to releasing size.

Thanks to Coyote Gulch for the link!