Since its founding in 1959, Trout Unlimited has played the leading role in protecting one of America's last great treasures…our nation's trout and salmon populations. 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.” By combining "on the ground" restoration efforts with cutting edge scientific research and effective advocacy on behalf of our coldwater fisheries, TU has been an effective steward for trout and salmon management nationwide.
TU operates at the grassroots level through over 400 chapters nationwide, with over 10% of those chapters located here in Pennsylvania. Our Pennsylvania State Council (PATU) represents and supports the activities of the local chapters at the national level. Although most TU members opt for membership in the local chapter serving their home waters, members are free to join any chapter which best suits their needs.
Although an overwhelming majority of TU members favor fly fishing as their preferred method of angling, TU does not advocate tackle specific fishing for trout and salmon. All anglers are encouraged to join TU regardless of their preferred technique, realizing that we all share the same common goals…improving the quality of our resources while practicing good sportsmanship on the stream. Catch and release fishing is favored by the majority of TU anglers who understand that "the fish you return unharmed to the water today will be there to catch again tomorrow.”
TU's primary emphasis is on preserving and restoring our stocks of wild trout and salmon, while at the same time recognizing the need for supplemental hatchery stockings in those waters which do not support naturally sustaining populations of trout. In fact, a number of TU chapters nationwide operate their own cooperative hatcheries to meet population restoration goals in their local streams.
Although most Trout Unlimited members join TU because of an interest in fishing for trout and/or salmon, please remember that TU's principal mission is the "conservation, protection and restoration of coldwater fishery resources" which support these salmonid species.
Our mission is “To conserve, protect, restore and sustain Pennsylvania’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, especially our wild trout resources” We restore streams through habitat improvement projects, conduct seminars on water quality and fisheries management, and work to educate the next generation about the importance of clean water and wild trout.
Our council serves as a unified voice for the 48 local chapters representing more than 12,000 members statewide.
A Brief History
Our beginning dates back to 1963 when Charlie Fox, acting as president of the Pennsylvania Council, appointed Keith Schuyler as vice president to “get together a committee to study what recommendations for Pennsylvania trout fishing should be made by Trout Unlimited for policy discussion with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.” There were just 3 local chapters established at that time…in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
Our council has grown substantially since its inception, both in numbers of chapters as well as in the variety of projects and activities undertaken. These accomplishments are detailed by author Mike Klimkos in his excellent treatise, A History of Trout Unlimited and the Environmental Movement in Pennsylvania, published in 2003.