We will work to stabilize and protect certain clean, healthy streams and rivers that support thriving populations of wild trout. These streams may include, but are not limited to, the Rifle and Au Sable Rivers, and their cold-water tributaries.
It is our hope that our activities will provide high-quality habitat for wild coldwater fish; reconnect fish populations with habitats by removing or minimizing barriers to fish passage; restore coldwater watersheds to support thriving trout populations; improve public access to nearby coldwater streams; and build the capacity of our chapter and its members to work cooperatively to achieve maximum long-term effectiveness.
We also want to ensure consistent and effective delivery of the chapter’s, Michigan Trout Unlimited’s, and Trout Unlimited’s message to wide internal and external audiences, by a variety of means, and develop stable funding to achieve the chapter’s long-term conservation goals.
The Mershon-Neumann Heritage Chapter of Trout Unlimited has a long history of protecting cold-water resources in Michigan. We are a grassroots organization that works on, and helps fund, projects like stream bank improvement, lunker structure placement, strategic tree plantings, river cleanups, and other hands-on initiatives that have the goal of protecting and preserving the health and beauty of cold-water ecosystems. We provide varied opportunities throughout the year to increase knowledge of cold-water systems and ways to improve and enjoy the environment where trout are found. We also support public education about cold-water systems and their importance, Women ‘n Waders fly-fishing classes, Salmon in the Classroom, and we sponsor youth attending Trout Unlimited camps. We have several social events throughout the year, like suppers and informal presentations, and our annual fundraising banquet. Please explore this website, and think about joining us for one of our upcoming events. We’d love to have you with us.
A Storied History
July 2014 marked the 55th anniversary of TU's founding on the banks of the Au Sable River near Grayling, Michigan. The 16 fishermen who gathered at the home of George Griffith were united by their love of trout fishing, and by their growing discontent with the state's practice of stocking its waters with "cookie cutter trout"—catchable-sized hatchery fish. Convinced that Michigan's trout streams could turn out a far superior fish if left to their own devices, the anglers formed a new organization: Trout, Unlimited (the comma was dropped a few years later) dedicated to ensuring that wild and native trout populations were allowed to thrive, as nature intended.
From the beginning, TU was guided by the principle that if we "take care of the fish, then the fishing will take care of itself." And that principle was grounded in science. "One of our most important objectives is to develop programs and recommendations based on the very best information and thinking available," said TU's first president, Dr. Casey E. Westell Jr. "In all matters of trout management, we want to know that we are substantially correct, both morally and biologically." In 1962-63, TU prepared its first policy statement on wild trout, and persuaded the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to curtail "putand-take" trout stocking and start managing for wild trout and healthy habitat. On the heels of that success, anglers quickly founded TU chapters in Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and Pennsylvania. From its hundreds of local stream restoration projects, to helping lead the way to remove the Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in Maine, to compelling Congress to strengthen the Clean Water Act,
TU has a strong 50 year track record of conservation achievements. Perhaps TU's greatest strength is that it works at multiple levels of society and government to achieve its mission. From the landowner on the stream bank, to the state fisheries agency, to the Halls of Congress, TU is working to achieve its vision