About the Lake Champlain Chapter



In 1983 the only North Country TU chapter was located in Saranac Lake, NY. It was active from May 1975 to somewhere in the early ‘80s. Approximately half its membership was made up of people from the Plattsburgh area.


As the Saranac Lake chapter’s activity waned, Sam Thuesen and Bruce Handley wondered if they couldn’t start a chapter in Plattsburgh. The first organizational meeting was held in March 1983 and in April the Board officers and a Board of Directors were elected. At that first Trout Unlimited meeting, 24 charter members were transferred from the Saranac Lake chapter, plus some new members that came aboard after our organizational meeting.


We petitioned the state level of TU to begin a new chapter. Our charter was granted and issued June 4, 1983, and thus the Lake Champlain Chapter, #419, was born.


Over the last 28 years the chapter has been very active locally in a number of ways. Almost since the start, the chapter has done stream clean-ups on the Saranac River every fall, has been very active in supporting lamprey control and have been instrumental in cleaning up a number of point sources of pollution in the Saranac. We have sponsored a number of children over the years to attend the DEC summer camps and one of our outstanding programs is “Salmon in the Classroom.” The success of this program is largely due to members Bill Wellman and Don Lee, assisted from time to time by other chapter members.


Most recently the chapter has embraced TU's Women’s Initiative, holding its first Women's Introduction to Fly Fishing seminar in 2013.


The chapter received its first award, the Silver Trout Award, from the State Council within the chapter’s first year of operation. The award is for being an outstanding chapter. In 1989 the chapter was recognized nationally as an outstanding chapter and received the Silver Trout Award trophy.


We’ve been very fortunate to have gained a number of new active members over the years, and our membership at present stands at well over 100. We hope to see in the coming years a continued influx of active members and more attendance at our monthly meetings held the second Tuesday of the month except during June and July. Our August meeting is a summer picnic. Our Board meetings are also open to the public. They are held the first Tuesday of every month.


We would encourage each of our members to think about becoming more active in some of our programs. It would be nice to see some new faces at our activities.


edited from RodRack newsletter, Summer 2011 edition, original written by Bruce Handley