This past weekend, over 100 chapter leaders, volunteers, Trout Unlimited staff, and partners joined Colorado TU in Keystone for the annual Rendezvous spring meeting. This year the theme was Homewaters where participants learned more about specific issues that are affecting not only their homewaters, but the homewaters of all Colorado chapters. These issues included mining projects, protecting public lands, creating healthy urban watersheds, connecting local communities to their homewaters, partnering with agriculture, and learning about water laws in Colorado. Participants in the weekend heard from National TU staff, chapter leaders, professionals in the related fields, and locals from various watersheds throughout the state. Each session focused on various aspects of each issue affecting watersheds all over. The presentations from various sessions can be found on the Rendezvous page!
Included in the presentations from National TU Staff was the keynote speaker at the Saturday Night Banquet, TU President and CEO, Chris Wood. Wood spoke about the future of TU in the midst of an uncertain political climate. Wood reassured everyone that TU will continue to not only defend our prized fisheries and public lands but go on the offense and fight for protections of areas. We will also make sure we are working for our trout and salmon as opposed to working party lines.
The banquet also included the presentation of chapter, volunteer leadership, and partner awards. The awards included:
- John Connolly Outstanding Chapter Communications Award: West Denver Chapter
- Exemplary Youth Education Award: Gunnison Angling Society
- Exemplary Project Award: Dolores River Anglers
- Outstanding Volunteer Awards: Mark Hanson, Dustin McCory, Tim Toohey
- Exemplary Chapter Award: Five Rivers Chapter
- Distinguished Service Award: Gil Hassinger
- Exemplary Guide & Outfitter Awards: Telluride Outside, Trouts Fly Fishing
- Trout Conservation Award: Paul Bruchez
- Bruce Hoagland Award for Leadership in Conservation: Buck Skillen
- Silver Trout Foundation also recognized Rick Matsumoto and John Aaron with the Silver Trout Award.
The weekend started off with the a Cast N' Sip event where guests were treated to a "Seven Deadly Sins of Casting" presentation by Johnathan Walters. Afterwards everyone could apply their newfound knowledge and participate in casting games like tic-tac-toe. Beer was provided for the event by Upslope Brewing Company.
New to this year's Rendezvous was a poster session in which chapters from around the state made a poster highlighting their chapter and the work they've accomplished over the last year. Throughout the weekend, guests were able to walk around and read the posters to gain a better of understanding of what each chapter is doing on their homewaters.
Saturday morning, before the Homewaters sessions began, Colorado TU held it's spring board meeting. The council went over the current "State of CTU" and discussed other pressing topics including the Parks and Wildlife Financial Sustainability Bill.
Also at the board meeting, the Council awarded six Gomolchak mini-grants from CTU to help with a chapter project. The following chapters were awarded grants of $1,000 for their specific project.
- Cheyenne Mountain: Greenback youth education publication.
- Colorado River Headwaters: Fraser Flats project.
- Gore Range: Blue River Explorer hike.
- West Denver: Clear Creek Habitat Improvement Project.
- The Greenbacks: Rock Creek-Black Canyon greenback barrier design & construction.
- Denver Chapter: South Platte Stream Management Plan.
At Rendezvous each year the election of CTU's Board of Directors takes place and this year the positions up for election were the President and Vice President. Former Vice President, Cam Chandler, was elected as President of the Board of Directors. While former Director-at-Large, Dick Jefferies, was elected Vice President of the Council.