How and why local volunteers are keeping our waterways clean ... and the resulting changes in fishing ... will be the theme for the Fourth Annual Trout & Clean Streams Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Sheffield Lions Den.
And, there will be fun and prizes. Admission is free. The event is being sponsored by the Cornplanter Chapter of Trout Unlimited and will benefit the local watershed, local projects of Trout Unlimited, and educational programs.
The Expo serves two purposes, according to Jim Lawson, Cornplanter Chapter Trout Unlimited President. "... to educate the community on what ... Trout Unlimited does as a conservation organization" and to showcase other local organizations that "partner together to make improvements to our local environment and watershed. Guests can also learn trout fishing tips and techniques along with other related fishing activities," like spin and bait fishing, fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying, kayak fishing.
The day also will include information on Trout in the Classroom, the local watershed, stream-side insects and water quality sampling.
Raffle prizes will include a $200 WalMart gift card, two $100 cash prizes, and a $100 Kwik Fill Card. Tickets are $5 or three for $10. Also, tickets for a Chinese auction will be $1, eight fro $5, 18 for $10 or 45 for $20. Raffle and Chinese auction drawings will take place at approximately 4 p.m., but door prize drawings will be held throughout the day. Food will be available, prepared by the Sheffield Lions Club. Proceeds will benefit the projects of Cornplanter Chapter Trout Unlimited.
"Anyone who buys raffle tickets or Chinese auction tickets is helping make a contribution to our current and future projects," Lawson explained. "This allows us to continue to move our projects and programs forward."
"Awareness will allow people to see our current projects and educational programs that we are involved with," Lawson said, like the Morrison Run restoration project, Trout in the Classroom, local educational programs, instream habit projects, fishing workshops, stream monitoring, and the chapter's community involvement.
"By sharing with the community the projects we are involved with we hope to spark people's interest so they may want to become involved and volunteer," Lawson added. "They can also see the efforts that are happening where we live to make improvements to our local environment and watershed."
In addition to showcasing what Trout Unlimited has been doing locally, the expo is a nice kickoff to the upcoming trout season, which begins April 16, Lawson said. "Hopefully this will excite people about the upcoming season and will provide them with some tips and techniques that will help them be successful during the fishing season. We can talk fishing and related topics which we all love to do!"
Everyone is welcome to attend the expo ... men, women and children, anyone "interested in learning about protection and conservation of our local streams and watershed or anyone who wants to learn about trout fishing or how to get started. We would like to see people come whether you fish or not. Each of us will encounter some environmental issue at some point in our lives. The expo will show some of the impacts that humans can have both positive and negative on the environment that effect each of us. Plus we all use water daily basis and want it clean."
The event has grown over the past three years with attendance well over 150 people last year. Some stay a short time, but many of the people stay the entire day, Lawson said.
Special events include:
Special Fishing Seminar with Mike Bleech (1:30)
Fly Casting lessons and demonstrations with Gary Kell
Fly Tying -People can learn watch and try
Kayaking and Kayak Fishing Presentations by Allegheny Outfitters
Displays (All Day)
Elk County Fresh Water Association
Elk County Conservation District
Pennsylvania and Cornplanter Trout Unlimited
Eastern Brook Trout Venture
Western PA Conservancy
Warren County Conservation District
Conewango Creek Watershed Association
Allegheny National Forest
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Sheffield Lions Club (Food Vendor)
Trout in the Classroom (live fish raised from one of our local trout in classroom classes from this year/ released at the end of expo).