High Desert Anglers
TU Chapter 620
High Desert Anglers is the Uintah Basin area grassroots chapter of Trout Unlimited dedicated to Conserving,
Protecting and Restoring North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. We currently have over 50
active TU members in our Chapter.
Throughout the winter months, our Chapter held its monthly meetings (which are held on the 2nd Thursday of
each month) at Sportsman's Warehouse in Vernal. These were a great success, and this year our Chapter
purchased some video equipment that allowed us to project each fly that was being tied onto a screen so all
the tiers had a clear view of each step as it was performed.
In February we rented the indoor Recreation gymnasium in Vernal and held a casting and fly tying clinic. The
DWR helped out and had a preregistration through their outreach program. Again, participation was excellent
and we were able to give away several fly rods as gifts. The Chapter was able to purchase several teaching
aids to help with the casting instruction, and they will be available to use for many years to come.
May brought us out to Big Brush Creek which is 12 miles north of Vernal, for our annual cleanup of a body of
water in our region. Big Brush Creek will be the focus of our Chapter for the next few years as we have plans
along with Uintah County, the BLM, the DWR, and private interests for some extensive stream bank
restoration, a 1.7-mile parallel trail along the Creek with 2 bridges and numerous fishermen access points along the trail for this 1.7-mile Creek. Jordan Nielson and Paul Burnett, TU biologists in Utah, along with help
from a local engineering firm in Vernal helped procure a WRI Grant from the State that will allow us to get our
NEPA permit completed, which makes available other grant opportunities to complete this project. This is an
ambitious multiyear project that we hope will become a nice urban fishery available to the fishermen of Vernal
and the State of Utah!
The end of May also got us out to a field trip to a private pond in Vernal to observe several classrooms
releasing the trout that they raised through the Trout in the Classroom program that our Chapter has helped
fund for many years. We have over a dozen setups in the Uintah Basin and we feel this program is one of the
best ways we have to reach out to youth. The children have a great time throughout the year raising their trout
and their excitement during the release of their fish is fun to observe!
May also allowed us to return to Calder's Reservoir to evaluate the status of our windmill and solar aerator
projects from the past 2 years. The solar aerators have been a huge success with the windmills being a work
in progress. We have had a lot of issues with the windmills (not the least of which have been muskrats
chewing through air lines-who knew?). By incorporating some components of our solar system into the
windmill system (mainly larger air hoses and replacing the windmills aerators with diffusers used in the solar
system) we finally believe we may have resolved the problems we have had with our windmills. This will be a
fall project for the Chapter.
August normally begins with a Green River clean up that is held by the Green River Outfitters and Guides
Association (GROGA) and one we participate in.
August also brings us to our most important Event of the year, our Annual Green River Single Fly
Fundraiser. This is a large undertaking but one that is very rewarding and the results allow us to proceed with
many projects that High Desert Anglers pursues on behalf of Trout Unlimited each year. A huge thanks to the
Chapters throughout the State that are big supporters of this Event!
The fall will see us up at Calder's to refit our windmills and when the DWR finishes the Community Ponds that
are currently under construction we plan to utilize them for an outdoor casting clinic that will be one that will
mirror our clinic we hold indoors in late winter. These ponds will be a great asset to the Uintah Basin and will
be available I believe in 2019 or 2020.
That's all for now and Tight Lines and thanks to all that devote so much to Trout Unlimited!