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Reminiscing

posted Feb 3, 2015, 8:18 AM by Mike Balogh
This is not about bragging, nor am I seeking any accolades; at my stage of life I’m beyond that. I just want to reminisce a bit about Trout Unlimited following a pleasant Friday conversation with members of the Fred Burroughs North Jersey Chapter at The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ.

I mentioned to members in their booth that I was a charter member of the chapter and they all looked at me quite quizzically informing me they only knew of one charter member still alive; it was obvious that wasn’t me. Well while a junior at Newark College of Engineering, now NJIT, my good friend Bill Nicol and I attended their organizational meeting, which if memory serves me correctly was a tavern somewhere in Sparta, NJ. I joined Trout Unlimited that night, but Bill didn’t.

I’ve been a member of Trout Unlimited since 1969 on a continuous basis and still have just about every membership card ever issued to me to prove this. My very first membership card is attached, but sadly no chapter is listed. Back then this chapter was simply known as the North Jersey Chapter, and Fred Burroughs was its inspirational leader. The galvanizing issue of the day was the Tocks Island Dam proposal for the Delaware River.

In June of 1970 after graduating college, I moved to Kingston, NY and transferred into the Catskill Mountain Chapter which I was a member until helping organize the Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter. And during my time as president in both chapters, I helped organize the Beamoc and Mid-Hudson Chapters of Trout Unlimited also. Plus I served on the NYS State Council of TU as editor of the newsletter--- Longcasts, plus briefly as a National Director of TU (1987). My interests have always been rivers, and this organization is merely a means to protect rivers. The last paragraph of Roderick Haig-Brown’s excellent book, A River Never Sleeps, best sums up these feelings.

So spurred on by the Tocks Island Dam and later involved with water releases below NYC’s Catskill reservoirs via Catskill Waters to the Prattsville pumped storage proposal and now focused on the Esopus Creek, I have been a member of Trout Unlimited for six decades. I realize it was only eleven months in 1969, but all of the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s through the current 2015. I’m not sure how many existing members of TU can claim six decades of continuous membership, or more.

I have enjoyed more than my fair share of recognition for various issues along this journey. As I said, please indulge me, I’m only reminiscing.

Ed
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