Fishing club supports environmental education

Jimmy Jacobs is a freelance writer and fishing reporter for Fox Sports Outdoors on Fox Sports South. Follow him at jimmyjacobsoutdoors.com. He can be contacted at jimmyjacobs@mindspring.com.


BY THE NUMBERS

$5 Price of a ticket to the Coosa Valley TU Chili Cook Off

$45 Cost of entering a team in the Chili Cook Off

$100,300 Donated to scholarships, education and research by the Coosa Valley TU Chapter

One might expect the main focus of an angling club to be centered on getting together and going fishing. The Coosa Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter in Rome seems to defy that logic.

This group of northwest Georgia anglers do spend their fair share of time on the water, but equal or greater effort goes into conservation and education as well.

That philanthropy is spread across a wide spectrum of projects and causes. All of that effort is centered on making sure future generations get to enjoy the natural resources of Georgia.

The largest beneficiary to date has been the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Arrowhead Environmental Education Center in Armuchee. The center conducts a number of conservation programs for school children.

More recently the club funded the construction of an indoor “trout stream” for the Rome-Floyd County River Education Center. This project provides youngsters and adults a view of how a trout stream functions.

Another project established a research and scholarship endowment at the Warnell School of Forestry at the University of Georgia. That effort has received more than $20,000 so far.

Boy Scout troops, high school science clubs, the Georgia DNR Kids Fishing Days, and the Georgia State Trout Unlimited Council’s Trout Camp for youngsters are other beneficiaries of the club’s largess.

So where does the money come from for all these projects?

The Coosa Valley TU Chili Cook Off has been the mainstay of fundraising for the club. The 19th annual cook-off takes place Oct. 11 at Ridge Ferry Park in Rome. The hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New cooking teams can still enter the competition and the public is welcome at the cook-off. The event features live music and the chance to sample as many as 100 chili entries.

Complete details on the cook-off are available at coosavalleytu.org.