Fly Fishers International emphasizes several conservation programs including conserving our native fishes, adopting a stream in your area, and recycling fishing line.
The San Gabriel Fly Fishers has adopted a portion of the San Gabriel River between Lake Georgetown and San Gabriel Park. We have a bronze plaque announcing our adopt-a-stream program, and the City of Georgetown and the San Gabriel Fly Fishers have installed this plaque on a limestone pedestal near the river. The city hiking trail crosses the river on a footbridge a little upstream (toward Lake Georgetown) from Rivery Park; this same footbridge is a little downstream (toward San Gabriel Park) from Chandler Park by Country Club Road. The plaque was placed by this footbridge.
On Saturday, November 7, 2015 we conducted our annual stream cleanup of the North San Gabriel river.† Here are the particulars:
- We will meet at 8:00 AM at Chandler Park, which is on Spring Valley at Country Club Drive, across from the entrance to Georgetown Country Club.† This location is approximately in the center of the area to be cleaned up.
- We will break up into teams of three, and proceed to various spots, both upstream and downstream from the park, to conduct the cleanup.† In the event that participants choose to wade the river, we suggest that you wear waders. †We also recommend that all participants carry their cell phones, as a safety precaution. †All participants will be provided trash bags for trash collection.† You do not have to wade the river to help out.
- Participants should place full trash bags at the edge of the Hike and Bike trail that follows the river, and the City of Georgetown will pick up all trash on Saturday afternoon, after our cleanup is complete.
- Georgetown Country Club normally provides us with use of a golf cart, in order to monitor the cleanup up and down the river, and to bring water to the participants.
- A Barbeque lunch will be provided at Noon at Chandler Park for all participants after the cleanup.
Please RSVP to Randy Johnson at email@example.com no later than Friday, October 30th so that we can get a good headcount for the lunch.† If you have questions call Randy at (512) 930-5039.†
Previous Conservation outings
At the request of Susan Blackledge, Park Manager of Berry Springs Park and Preserve, a group of SGFF volunteers went to Berry Springs to join some other volunteers and help park employees remove milfoil from the park's pond. Milfoil is an invasive water plant that is crowding out native water plants and generally making the pond unsightly and difficult to fish. Our contingent consisted of George Kimmel, Richard McIntyre, Bruce Moring, Pat and Don Carlson, and myself. We arrived at the park around 8:30 a.m. and were geared up and ready for work by 9:00 a.m.
The parks department has a tool for removing milfoil. It is a four inch pipe about five feet long that is studded with hooked spikes about five inches long (see photo 2). A rope yoke connects this tool to a 200 foot rope. Park employees put the tool into a Jon Boat and paddle across to the far side of the pond, pulling the rope behind them so it stretches across the pond with one end remaining on the near side (see photo 3). The tool is pushed off the back of the Jon Boat, and it sinks to the bottom. Another park employee uses a tractor attached to the rope to drag the tool along the bottom of the lake and up onto the near shore. The hooks on the tool tangle with the stems of the milfoil, uproot the plants, and drag them along. When the tool emerges from the pond it is encased in a coating of milfoil from six inches to eighteen inches thick. When the tool has been pulled up onto the near shore the volunteer crew swarms in and uses pocket knives and hands to cut and tear the milfoil from the tool. The milfoil is wet and heavy, and stems of individual plants are all entwined with each other; the stuff is heavy and difficult to manage. When the tool has been cut free it is returned to the Joh Boat for another pass. While the tool is being repositioned, the volunteers use hands, rakes, and pitch forks to put the milfoil into piles, like little hay stacks, where it waits to be hauled away.
From 9:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m. we helped the department employes make pass after pass with the milfoil removal tool. Then they brought over a pickup truck and a utility vehicle, and we helped load the stacks of milfoil into these vehicles (see photo 4). The parks department then hauled the milfoil off to a dump site on the back side of the park property. By noon we were done, and done in (see photo 5). We called it day and went to our respective homes for a hot shower, lunch, and, at least in my case, a nap.
On Saturday, October 26, 2013, the San Gabriel Flyfishers conducted their annual North San Gabriel Stream Cleanup. The cleanup began at 8:00 AM at Chandler Park near the entrance to Georgetown Country Club. The following members were in attendance:
Randy Johnson, Don Johnson, Don Carlson, Pat Carlson, Tommy Griffis, Richard McIntyre, Don Traube, and Brooks Bouldin
As in prior years, Georgetown Country Club donated the use of one of their maintenance carts to the effort, and the City of Georgetown picked up the trash after our efforts. Lunch for all the participants included barbeque from CJ’s Big Boy BBQ. We would like to thank all of these groups for their assistance.
The group found the river cleaner than in prior years. This is likely attributable to our efforts on each cleanup, but is also likely a result of the overall profile of our Adopt-a-Stream efforts. The community in general is more aware of the need to keep the river clean, and we think that less trash is being left by residents than in prior years. Hopefully, this trend will continue.
In addition to the typical cans and bottles, the members picked up about 200 golf balls washed down from the Georgetown Country Club. No large trash items were found.
Additional questions can be directed to Randy Johnson at (512) 930-5039.
Susan Blackledge, who manages Berry Springs Park and Preserve for Williamson County, asked that we help her net some fish from the Berry Springs Park lake before it dries up completely, so a group from the San Gabriel Fly Fishers went over to help out. As the photos show, the pond is almost completely dry, with only a few feet of water left in the deepest section. There were many dead fish floating on the surface and a few nearly dead fish, carp and catfish, slowly swimming around. We scooped up the dead fish so Susan could dispose of them in a way that didnít stink up the park. We put the live fish we were able to catch into aerated water buckets so Susan could move them to nearby Berry Creek.
The county plans to take advantage of the drought to make repairs to the pondís dam, which was blown out by the recent flood. After the dam is repaired and the pond refills, the county hopes to use water from a recently drilled well to keep the pond from drying up in future droughts. With luck the pond can become the excellent fishing spot it was when the park first opened.
On Saturday, April 9th, some 16 intrepid souls from the SGFF and my son gathered along the banks of the North San Gabriel River for our annual river clean up. We split into three groups and each group covered a different stretch of river that totaled several miles of the North San Gabriel from just below Lake Georgetown Dam to Austin Avenue. Members waded in and along the banks picking up any and all trash that included your ever-present beer and soda bottles/cans, golf balls, tires, plastic trash bags, and pipe. All of us left sweat and some left blood along the river as we had to bushwhack our way through green briar to get to trash that had washed over-bank during higher flows. Each group spent about two hours on the river, and afterwards, we all gathered back at Booty's Park to compare scares and brag about who “caught” the biggest and “best” trash! Thanks to everyone who pitched in to continue our pledge to “protect, maintain, and respect these waters” as enscribed on our plaque that sits along the N San Gab about mid way along our adopted river reach.
Seventeen SGFF's, one member’s daughter, and another member’s son gathered on Saturday, May 2nd at Booty's Road Park near the Lake Georgetown Dam to clean up a little over 3 miles of the North San Gabriel River from D.B. Wood Road to Austin Avenue. River trash included an abundance of golf balls below Georgetown CC, more Keystone beer cans than an other brand, old tires, and plenty of discarded plastic grocery bags. The North San Gabriel was a mere trickle making the clean up much easier. Nineteen volunteers split into three groups with each group covering a mile or more of river. Members left dozens of bags of trash and larger items that would not fit in bag along the trail next to the river, and the City Parks and Recreation Dept. agreed to pick up the trash.
Members spent about 2-3 hours cleaning up the river, and gathered afterwards in the pavilion at Booty’s Rd Park for some BBQ. Thanks to all who gave up their Saturday morning for a worthy cause and some good company while wading our adopted reach of the North San Gabriel River.
About twelve of our members gathered at Chandler Park, where Country Club Road crosses the North Fork of the San Gabriel River, on Saturday morning. We divided into two groups. One group entered the river at Chandler Park to clean trash out of the river downstream to Rivery Park, a distance of about one river mile. The other group drove down to the foot bridge at the upper end of San Gabriel Park and cleaned the North Fork upstream to Rivery Park, also a distance of about one river mile. The people working in the river carried bags of trash and larger items, like lumber, sections of PVC pipe, bicycle wheels, etc, up to the hiking trail. The Georgetown Parks and Recreation department came by later and hauled the trash away. The Georgetown Country Club graciously loaned us one of their utility vehicles, which we drove along the hiking trail delivering extra water and trash bags to the workers down in the river.
The San Gabriel Fly Fishers gathered where hiking trail crosses the river a little upstream from Rivery Park for the dedication of our Adopt-a-steam plaque. Bruce made a nice dedication speech outlining our plans for cleaning, monitoring, and improving this portion of the San Gabriel River.
Bruce arranged for some club members to visit the Nature Conservancy camp on the Devilís River at Dolan Falls to learn about the Nature Conservancy's mission, and, of course, to fish. See the trip report for details.
Cleanup of a portion of the San Gabriel's North Fork August 5, 2006
Electrofishing population survey April 8, 2006
Several SGFF members gathered streamside on the North San Gabriel in October, 2005 to get to know the stream a little better. We spent several hours seining fish, collecting aquatic insects, and sloshing about in the stream.