by Bob Luck
On Friday afternoon I sat in a parking lot in Menomonie, Wisconsin, about an hour east of St. Paul, and gave my wife a call. She told me that it was pouring rain and hail at our home in downtown Minneapolis, and she wasn’t sure if our rooftop garden of cucumbers and tomatoes would survive. As we spoke, I watched a dark low-hanging cloud approach from the west. It wasn’t raining yet, but the wind was gusting and just after I hung up, the civil defense siren sounded.
All summer long, I’ve been having the same sort of foreboding that I experienced prior to that storm. Apart from a stretch of smoky days, it has been a pleasant summer here in the Bold North. The trout fishing has been excellent, and the Trico hatch has been bigger than any year I can remember. More often than not, we are able to turn off the air conditioner at night and sleep with the windows open. But as I read about wildfires in Canada, heat waves in the South and the recent fire in Maui, I know that climate change will not spare Minnesota. And climate change is not our only challenge: it seems that we are hearing daily about threats to our streams: nitrate contamination in the Driftless Area, or a new CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) in a fragile watershed, or a bottled water plant in the Vermillion River headwaters.
By Evan Griggs, Membership Coordinator
The Twin Cities Trout Unlimited Chapter ranks in the top three largest TU chapters in the country. With more than 2000 members, not only do we cover a large geographic area, we also cover a wide array of demographics. Earlier this year, the board sent out a survey to know our members better, and guide our chapter activities and projects. We received nearly 300 responses to our survey, and below are a few interesting stats.
Our membership cares about conservation! When asked, “What types of activities would you be interested in volunteering for?” over 63% put conservation projects as their top pick.
Another front running activity was education and outreach (over 28%).
We also asked respondents for their secret fishing spots. Well not exactly, but we did find out where they prefer to fish. Over 42% of respondents said they primarily fish western Wisconsin streams within 75 miles including the Kinnickinnic and Rush Rivers. 26% head to SE MN or SW WI beyond 75 miles and nearly 21% fish MN streams within 75 miles. According to this data, it can be inferred that our members are more inclined to take the short drive to fish the Kinni, the Rush and other Western Wisconsin streams than anywhere else.
When asked “If we were doing a 5-year review of TCTU in 2026, what are some things you’d like to say TCTU accomplished between 2021-2025?” Using the word cloud below to sample the most used words/phrases, the most commonly used phrases were: stream restoration, habitat restoration, and education. We can infer that our members care about the streams they fish and want to continue working to restore and protect them.
We appreciate the nearly 300 folks who took the time to respond to our survey! With this info the board is excited to prioritize the things that you do: conserving the cold water habitats that you love to fish, offering more educational opportunities for youth, and making our chapter meeting and events more accessible. To download all the response data, please click on the link below.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.