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Messages From The President

Big Thanks - Paulins Kill Clean Up

posted Nov 13, 2018, 3:10 PM by Michael Iris

This past Saturday, the North Jersey chapter of Trout Unlimited held a very successful clean-up event along several upper sections of the Paulins Kill river.  This event is part of a broader Paulins Kill watershed clean-up taking place at multiple locations that includes other TU chapters, as well as The Nature Conservancy and the SCMUA Wallkill River Watershed Management Group.  

After meeting for coffee and donuts, our volunteers cleaned-up two critical locations in Augusta and Lafayette, as well as the parking area at the trail head on the Hyper Humus property.   

We enjoyed the time together and made a direct, lasting impact on the Paulins Kill and surrounding area, removing 10+ extra large bags of trash, plus a tire and a rubber car bumper.  Our efforts will also be appreciated by users of the Great Valley trail, the Sussex Branch trail, and the Paulins Kill Valley trail.    

Special thank-you to our 9 eager volunteers:  Dan Rodriguez, Dean Blumetti, Frank Abrusia, Fred Brindopke, Jan Beliveau, JoAnne Beliveau, Joe Devenney, Paul Bielecki, Phyllis Ianniello.  

Help New Jersey Project Win in Orvis and TU Online Contest

posted Nov 8, 2018, 9:06 AM by Michael Iris   [ updated Nov 11, 2018, 3:18 PM ]

Help New Jersey Project Win a Share of $50,000 from Orvis & TU
in the Embrace A Stream Challenge Running Now Through Nov. 11

Dear New Jersey TU Members,

Please join Orvis and Trout Unlimited in helping a great New Jersey project unlock a share of the $50,000 prize pool we've put together to support their work!

The Embrace A Stream Challenge is a fun, week-long online competition encouraging all of us to “Give Where You Fish” and support local TU projects making the future of fishing better in 19 states across the country. The premise is simple, Orvis and TU have each put up $25,000 and invited volunteer-led projects to compete to win their share of the funds... But they need your help to win.

Here in New Jersey, the Ridge & Valley Chapter has embarked on a project to restore over one mile of Lopatcong Creek, a  wild and native trout spring creek.

This great project has already received a grant from TU's Embrace A Stream program, but now through Nov. 11, you can help the project directly by going to and donating $10 or more. Every dollar donated goes directly to that TU chapter project, and your gift can help the chapter unlock matching funds and additional cash prizes of $100 to $1,000 for their work.

For example, Orvis and TU are offering a 50-cent match for every dollar raised up to $1,000, and the chapter with the most donations will win a $1,000 cash prize! There are more than 150 different prizes and match offers, meaning every donation – no matter the size – counts and your $10 donation could mean an additional $100, $500, $1,000 or more in funding for the projects that you choose!

Don’t wait! Donate today at and help Orvis give back to the rivers – and the sport of fly fishing – that we all care so deeply about.

Since 1975, TU’s Embrace A Stream program has awarded more than $4.7 million in grants to over 1,100 local chapter projects that bring TU’s mission to the local level.

Have A Local Trout Stream You Want to "Embrace"?
Do you have a local stream you want to make better, or know of an area where river restoration is needed to improve habitat?

Reach out to your local TU chapter to start the conversation and see if applying for an Embrace A Stream grant for your stream is a good fit for next year! You can find your local TU chapter here:

We'll begin accepting applications for the 2019 Embrace A Stream program in March!

Thanks for all you do for TU!

Jeff Yates
Director of Volunteer Operations
Trout Unlimited
(203) 216-7078

11/03/2018 - NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year - Banquet

posted Oct 19, 2018, 4:41 PM by Michael Iris

The banquet follows a full day of competitive fly fishing and is hosted on behalf of NJ State Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Preregistration only. The silent auction is a event in itself and a great way to support TU.

Sad News - Passing of Susan Zeeck

posted Sep 24, 2018, 11:32 AM by Michael Iris

We are very sad to share the news of the passing of Susan Zeeck, wife of Glen Zeeck, our TU Chapter past President and current Social Chairman. Funeral arrangements for Friday 9/28 can be found here: 

2018 Salmon River Trip - November 9 - 11, 2018

posted Sep 23, 2018, 3:57 PM by Michael Iris   [ updated Sep 23, 2018, 5:03 PM ]

Mark you calendar for this coming November's annual Steelhead fishing weekend in Up-State New York. We will stay at the Fox Hollow Salmon River Lodge near Altmar/Pineville, NY. 

Friday November 9 to Sunday, November 11.

The Chapter Trip is open to all members members and friends. We are renting two cabins, good for about 12-14 participants. If necessary, overflow can be accommodated in the Lodge. 

For newcomers, car pooling is commonly practiced, and help with getting started on the famous Salmon River will be provided to the asking. Come and try your skills at catching one of these magnificent fighting fish. We stay two nights and return on Sunday, November 11.

You can find current information on fishing the Salmon River in Up-State New York at

Call Greg Luty 201-280-5412 or email for details and sign-up.

A New Years Message

posted Dec 28, 2017, 8:08 AM by Mike Balogh   [ updated Dec 28, 2017, 8:10 AM ]

Before we meet again on January 17 for our first membership meeting in 2018, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Prosperous, Fulfilling and Happy New Year. Your board members already have begun with mapping out many exciting activities for the coming year. A calendar of planned events will be published for you all shortly. There are going to be many opportunities for contributing your talents and comradery.

The past twelve months has been purposeful and hugely successful. We all should be extremely proud of both our efforts and the successes. I personally want to say thank-you for the time, new ideas, and support so many of you have contributed. This kind of pride and effort by the membership is what is required to uphold the traditions of, and chart new “waters” for this chapter.

As your president of the North Jersey Trout Unlimited Chapter, I also want to thank all of you for your past and current support. I must admit the role can be challenging at times. But without fail, the joy, satisfaction, and friendships experienced at the conclusion of any successful activity or event make it all worthwhile. Thank you!

On that note and again, my very best to all in the New Year.

Willi Huber

September 2017

posted Sep 19, 2017, 5:49 AM by Mike Balogh

Another summer has come and gone, and I surely hope that it was as good to all of you as it was to me. Our North Jersey TU chapter was not in summer hibernation, as much as it might appear to have been: in July we sponsored the Annual Jefferson Township Youth Fishing Derby, followed by three nights of Fly Fishing for Beginners Classes at Station Park in Sparta, NJ; a presence during the New Jersey State Fair at the Sussex County Fair Grounds, and another enjoyable Chapter Picnic at Camp Mohican in Blairstown. A BIG thank you to all who turned out and lent a hand to make it all happen.

While most of these events were repeats of prior year’s activities, the Fly Fishing Course was not. The course represented something new and different and was directly aimed to benefit the residents of our host community, Sparta. Some 25 to 30 people took advantage of learning about our fly fishing passion, more than we ever had expected.

But wait… more new and exciting things are coming in the weeks ahead: on Saturday, September 23, we are participating in the annual Sparta Day event in Sparta NJ. We will have a table and offer activities for the kids in addition to fly casting and perhaps fly tying demonstrations.

And a month later, on Saturday October 21 our chapter is sponsoring the SPARTA GLEN FALL FUN DAY, a first year anniversary celebration of the successful completion of the 2016 Glen Brook restoration project.

We’re bringing together organizations, supporters, and volunteers responsible for the restoration work --- all of whom have a common interest in the long-term health of the Sparta Glen Brook. We're aiming to increase community awareness of this special place, and to foster interest in nature and an appreciation of life in and around the brook and Glen, especially in children.

The Township will be placing a commemorative plaque in the Glen, in recognition of last year’s stream restoration and riparian planting project in and around the stream bed. Activities will include: stream restoration overview, aquatic insect identification, crafts/games for kids, fly tying demonstration, dedication ceremony, refreshments, and the informational tables.

All of this cannot be accomplished by only a handful of people. WE NEED ALL OF YOU to chip in and help to make this a success! Please don’t wait for a phone call or an e-mail. Let us know by phone or e-mail of your willingness to help, thereby contributing to the vitality and future of our Trout Unlimited Chapter. Fred S. Burroughs would!

Gone fishing!

Willi Huber

July Message from the VP

posted Jul 24, 2017, 6:42 AM by Mike Balogh

How do you assess a successful trout fishing season? Did you catch your “personal best” or had a day when you “hammered” them on your favorite stream. For many, success is measured by the size or number of fish caught. And that’s alright. After all, that’s what fisherman and women talk about. And why join TU if not to share the enjoyment from catching trout.

But should that be the only measure of success? 

For me, this year’s highlight was landing a trout on a fly I tied myself. But more important, was seeing the joy in the eyes of those who taught the class as I told them of my success.

That feeling of sharing the joy of fishing is what turns me on. And TU provides us with many opportunities to do just that. What better high is there to see a new member grinning ear to ear after catching his first trout on a dry fly? Or helping a kid and his bewildered Mom catch a fish at the Jefferson Derby.

How great is the feeling after a stranger hands you a $20 donation for picking up trash on the Flatbrook or when you hear a “Thank You” while float stocking. Or sharing in the excitement of a classroom full of kids when delivering trout fingerlings or an onion sack full of strange bottom dwelling creatures.

Sharing the joy may take the form of simply making the effort to introduce yourself to a new member and inviting them to go fishing. Or volunteering for an activity outside your comfort zone such as helping a Vet with the Healing Water’s program learn to fly cast or stepping up to manage a chapter event.

Sharing the joy is infectious. Whether you are exposed to it by presenting a new idea at a chapter meeting or by participating in a stream restoration project as ambitious as Sparta Glen, I would encourage all to catch the joy of fishing.

Hope you have a successful trout fishing season.

Rich Egge

Want to Feel Young Again? Meet an Old Timer

posted Apr 27, 2017, 7:14 AM by Mike Balogh   [ updated Apr 27, 2017, 7:22 AM ]

Life sometimes takes unexpected turns. So it was with our recently completed State-wide raffle. When the first prize winner was picked out of the hundreds of ticket stubs and George Nimmo was announced as the lucky one, immediately some of those in attendance recognized the name. Back in 1969 George was one of a small group of local conservationists who were at the center of opposition to the Tocks Island Dam project. (you can learn more about this project by visiting the links below). It also was this small group of activists led by Fred S. Burroughs that, in the same year, laid the ground work and founded our Trout Unlimited Chapter, the first of its kind in New Jersey. 
Fast forward to 1975, when the dam was disapproved by a majority vote of the Delaware River Basin Commission. One of our present charter members, Chet Johnstone recalls that it was George Nimmo who called him from Trenton on that fateful day with the words “we won!”. Chet had not seen nor been in contact with George for many years, and when I approached Chet to find out if he would be interested in meeting up with George over lunch, we had a plan. So on Tuesday after Easter, Chet, Danny Rodriguez (another old timer) and myself got together with George and his wife Jeanne at Bill’s Luncheonette in Chester, NJ. What a reunion and what a lovely time of reminiscing and reflecting on the old times! Too much to mention all of it here, but of course there was the dam, many prior leaders and old friends, George’s service as vice president, treasurer, State Council representative and finally his recognition as a honorary Life Member of State Council. At one point, George became melancholic. He explained how his “mom required more and more of his time and care, he got married and had a child and he left his chosen profession, never to return. TU took a back seat….and eventual his eyes failed him – trout fishing became the odd man out. Not bitter – just realistic – sometimes we have to play the hand life deals us, and so it came to past, he said. The last time he wet a line was in 1999, in the Adirondacks. 

Nothing more for me to add, except to say two things: “Thank You” to all you [old] guys who have done so much for our cause, and to call on today’s newer members to hold high the torch they lit in 1969.

Willi Huber

George left me with a P.S. when he wrote to me after the meeting. I want to share it with you:

I’d like to leave you with a quote from the late Fred S. Burroughs, Princeton University, Class of 1937: “The greatest rewards of any organization are not necessarily the accomplishments of the organization, but rather, the human relations that are made”. Fred was right back then and he’s still right.

More about our past:
Ghost Waters: Tocks Island 

Thank-You John Nordstedt!

posted Feb 14, 2017, 4:24 PM by North Jersey TU   [ updated Feb 15, 2017, 1:22 PM by Mike Balogh ]

The leadership in all the Trout Unlimited chapters is represented by individual groups of committed volunteers that, over time, find themselves in a constant motion of change. This is no different in our chapter.  One such change came upon us just recently, and this one is worthy of special mention.  Chapter member John Nordstedt, for many years the tireless dynamo providing much needed energy to the chapter, a past membership chair and vice president, and the recipient of the TU New Jersey State Council’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement  Award, is saying good-bye to the cold climate of New Jersey, and moving to the West Coast of Florida. His single-handed leadership at the helm of the 2016 Sparta Glen Restoration Project must be ranked as one of the most significant achievements in our chapter’s history. John is leaving us a great many wonderful memories and a profound sense of gratitude for all his contributions to our cause. I believe to be speaking on behalf of all of our members when expressing to John our heartfelt thank you and our very best wishes for his life’s new Florida chapter. Be well John, have fun chasing mullet and snook, and stay in touch.

Changes inherently also bring renewal. We consider ourselves fortunate to have found in Rich Egge, Dean Blumetti and Derek Groff, three members who have come forward and volunteered to fill the board vacancies that we experienced in the past months. The chapter’s affairs are in the hands of a great group of people, and we look forward to a productive and rewarding 2017. But change will be in the winds again before long. At the end of this year, both the Treasurer Tom Mount and I will have completed our statutory two-year term. Yes, it’s only February, but it is not too early for all of you to start thinking and begin to do some soul searching now.

On March 25 the chapter is holding its Annual Fund Raising Banquet at Perona Farms in Sparta, NJ. Please come and join us, it always has been an evening filled with comradery, renewal of old friendships and just plain old fun. Your support is welcomed and needed.

As to 2017, we will soon publish a full calendar of activities and events that your chapter will sponsor or participate in. Please spend some time to look it over, you no doubt will find some opportunities where you can volunteer your time and talents for the good of our cause.

Thank you for listening!

Willi Huber

February 2017

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