In 1995, CRTU was formed by a handful of individuals. After forming bylaws and electing officers, we felt the need for a motto that would not only guide the current members of the chapter but also be the guiding principal for future members and generations. After much thought, we decided on "Reclaiming the Past, Protecting the Present, Preparing for the Future."
Since the birth of CRTU over twenty years ago, the chapter has been one of the primary forces in cold water conservation in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The numerous projects we have undertaken have been written about both locally and nationally.
We have facilitated three abandoned mine drainage remediation projects: Glade Run, Jonathan Run, and Morgan Run. Each of these watersheds flows to the Youghiogheny River so each improvement in the individual stream accrues downstream. Our projects are primarily on public lands which will increase fishing opportunities.
In CRTU's early years, the chapter focused primarily on resource restoration. Recently the chapter's officers and board of directors have expanded CRTU's educational efforts and outreach to youth. In 2008 CRTU sponsored a Trout in the Classroom (TIC) project at the Fayette County Vocational School. The trout were successfully released in Dunbar Creek on May 23, 2009. A reporter from the Tribune Review newspaper took pictures of the students and the trout before their release. For the 2018-2019 school year CRTU will be involved with the TIC Program in over twenty school districts.
CRTU is leading the fight to keep Laurel Hill Creek and its tributaries as cold water fisheries. Laurel Hill Creek was listed on the American Rivers 2009 most Endangered Rivers list primarily because too many competing water users are depleting the springs and base flow of Laurel Hill and some of its tributaries. In 2007 CRTU joined with Mountain Watershed Association to oppose the Curry Mine. The area of the proposed Curry Mine is a highly utilized recreational area adjacent to the Great Allegheny Passage and Youghiogheny River. Our Morgan Run Abandoned Mine Discharge remediation system which cost approximately $500,000 is three miles upstream of the site. In 2016, after a nine year battle, the fight against the proposed Curry Mine was won and the river will be protected.
CRTU's efforts have not gone unnoticed by state and federal natural resource management agencies. Our members have been placed on several committees concerning water conservation in southwestern Pennsylvania. In 2006 Governor Rendell appointed Tom Shetterly to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Tom was the second member from Trout Unlimited to serve as a Commissioner.
CRTU received national Trout Unlimited's 2006 Silver Trout award for the best chapter, the second highest award for a chapter in the country, and in 2007 the Best Chapter and Best Website awards from https://patrout.org/.
The chapter has fun, too. Our membership meetings often feature interesting speakers and presentations and we have a fishing outing, annual banquet and Christmas party. We need your creativity, your dedication, and your generosity.