Embrace a Stream – Oatka Creek Project
Rochester, NY – The Seth Green Chapter of Trout Unlimited announced today that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant through Trout Unlimited’s Embrace A Stream Program. This is one of the largest grants ever awarded to a TU chapter in the eastern-US. Combined with a previously awarded Orvis Retail grant and matching funds from the chapter, a total of $25,000 will be dedicated to help fund habitat improvement work and the restoration of wild trout populations in Oatka Creek Park.
Oatka Creek Park in Monroe County contains a 1.8 mile stretch of water designated as a blue ribbon wild trout stream and considered by many the crown jewel of fly fishing in Western New York. A precipitous reduction in trout populations was reported by anglers and compounded during the significant cold winter events of 2014 and 2015. Seth Green TU, working with US Fish and Wildlife, and the New York State DEC investigated the decline and determined that the park section was habitat limited.
The Oatka Creek Project will bring people from the community together to introduce habitat improvements and measure their impact. “This project has invigorated the chapter and is helping build a strong collaboration between anglers and the community. 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” said Jessie Hollenbeck, the President of the Seth Green TU Chapter.
The project is preliminarily scheduled to take place in the summer of 2019, but baseline activities will start immediately and citizen science work will be a permanent fixture going forward, ensuring continued stewardship. The chapter is also participating in the Orvis/Trout Unlimited Embrace a Stream Challenge, a fundraising effort that could potentially earn the chapter a portion of $50,000 in additional matching and prize funds The challenge runs from November 5 – 11.
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization, with over 300,000 members and supporters, dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Each year since 1975, they have funded local chapter conservation projects through the Embrace A Stream program, totaling over 1,050 projects nationwide and $14 million.