Chartered in 1959, Trout Unlimited (www.tu.org) is a national conservation organization with more than 400 chapters in 35 states throughout the US. The mission of TU is the conservation, protection and restoration of North America's cold water fisheries and their watersheds. This mission is carried out by more than 10,000 volunteers who make up the active chapters and through a paid staff at the national office in Arlington, Virginia.
Georgia has 11 active chapters, five of which are located in the Atlanta metro area. Chartered in 1983, Upper Chattahoochee Chapter (UCC) is one of the largest and most active chapters in the country. To our credit, we have recently received two national awards: the "Silver Trout" award for overall chapter performance and the Bollinger Award for the best newsletter. Additionally, several of our members serve in leadership positions at the TU state and national levels.
Our chapter's "home water" is the Chattahoochee River. The 540 mile Chattahoochee flows southwesterly from the north Georgia Mountains to its Flint River confluence at Lake Seminole. Beginning at Lake Lanier behind the Buford Dam, approximately 48 miles of the 'Hooch' flows through Atlanta. This is a tailwater fishery populated mostly with Browns and Rainbows. Rainbows are stocked on a periodic basis and in recent years Browns have begun reproducing naturally in the upper sections of the tailwater. Excellent hatches of caddis, mayflies and midges keep fly fishers entertained and our chapter is a strong proponent of "catch and release." Below Morgan Falls, there is a Delayed Harvest (DH) section that provides additional trout fishing opportunities.
The Chattahoochee River is a unique resource. While the proximity of the Chattahoochee tailwater to a major metro presents some challenges to the fishery, Atlanta is the only major city in the United States with a trout stream flowing around and within its borders. Additionally, the Chattahoochee tailwater is the second most southern trout stream in North America.
Though the Chattahoochee is an integral part of our heritage, our sphere of influence goes beyond our home waters. UCCTU is actively involved in conserving and restoring several streams in north Georgia. As an example, in the 1990s our chapter "adopted" Coopers Creek and over a number of years in partnership with the US Forest Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other chapters made significant improvements to this stream. More recently our chapter has worked actively with others to make improvements to Pretty Branch Creek which has resulted in the natural reproduction of Brook Trout, the native trout species in the eastern United States.
The Upper Chattahoochee Chapter has a rich tradition of working with other organizations including the US Forest Service, Georgia DNR, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Earth Share of Georgia and other organizations. In addition to our conservation mission, we have a special interest in education and encouraging today's youth to become tomorrow's TU leaders.
We welcome you to join our chapter, to participate, and to enjoy the fishing, floating and other activities that further our mission and make us a "flagship" organization.