The Seth Green Chapter of Trout Unlimited recently received a $10,000 grant through the national organization’s Embrace a Stream program.
This award, combined with an Orvis Retail grant and matching funds from the chapter for a total of $25,000, will help fund habitat improvement work and the restoration of wild trout populations at Oatka Creek Park in the town of Wheatland.
The park features a 1.8-mile stretch of water designated as a blue ribbon wild trout stream. Anglers reported a precipitous reduction in trout populations, which was compounded during cold winter events in 2014 and 2015.
Seth Green TU, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, investigated the decline and determined that the park section was habitat-limited. The Oatka Creek Project will unite people from the community to introduce habitat improvements and measure the impact.
“This project has invigorated the chapter, and is helping build a strong collaboration between anglers and the community,” said Jessie Hollenbeck, chapter president. “It is a much-loved stream that has been hit hard by extreme conditions for a few years in a row. We can’t wait to get started — it will make a real difference.”
The project is scheduled for next summer, but baseline activities will start immediately and citizen science work will be a permanent fixture going forward.
Seth Green TU is participating in the Orvis/Trout Unlimited Embrace a Stream Challenge, a fundraising effort that could earn the chapter a portion of $50,000 in additional matching and prize funds. The challenge runs from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11.