Volunteer Opportunities

Our membership currently stands at over 800 members in the Western New York area, the second largest in the state only bested by NYC. The strength of an organization like TU is the ability to bring together diverse groups of people under one banner to do great work. Our presence at outdoor shows is just as important as the restoration projects we do, the youth education and the work with veterans as it allows us to get ourselves in front of the community and increase awareness. These shows are also a great way to raise funds for our projects through donations and fly sales.

If each member volunteered ONCE during the calendar year we'd be in incredible shape. It could be mentoring a youth during a Stream Explorer Outing, teaching a vet how to tie a soft hackle at the VA one evening for an hour, staff our table at the Fair for a few hours one day in the summer or help to plant some trees along the Wiscoy for a couple hours. With our membership base, if folks were to pick an event and help out once a year we wouldn't know what to do with it all!


We always have a large list of volunteer opportunities and 2024 is no exception. Whether you are a community or scout group looking for community service hours or someone who is just looking to give back. You do not have to be a trout unlimited member, just have a willingness to do some good work for your community. Here are a few of the opportunities we currently have open with more coming all the time.

We're also brainstorming ways to thank and recognize the contributions made by our members and board leaders for the great work they do. More to come on that! 



Stream Explorers

Various dates throughout the year

Stream Explorers is our chapter youth initiative.

We're planning on one round up event, one holiday party and four outdoor outings in 2024

Feb 10th Round up

April 20th Fishing Outing

June 8th Fishing Outing

Macroinvertibrate Study in August

October 5th Fishing Outing

December 7th Holiday Party and Awards

Each event is 2-3 hours. If you're interested in sharing your knowledge with young anglers, please contact Jim Jowsey at outreach@WNYtroutunlimited.org. you don't have to sign up for all the events, any assistance you can offer would be most appreciated.



Project Healing Waters with WNYTU

One evening a month

We are currently running the Project Healing Waters program at the Buffalo Veterans Administration hospital on Bailey. The program is currently an hour long monthly fly tying class for the area's veterans. All materials are provided, but you're welcome to bring your own tools if you're more comfortable doing so.

Please contact Ken Kinecki at ken.kinecki@gmail.com if you would be interested in helping teach some of our area veterans a rewarding new passion.



The WNY Sport and Travel Expo

March 8-10

We will be at the Western New York sport and travel expo, Friday, March 8th through Sunday March 10th as we usually are with our membership table and can use some assistance. Free parking, free ticket and a run of the place. Most likely again be looking to fill 4-hour shifts. Please contact shows chair, Brian Barrey at bazzbozz@gmail.com if you can help us out.



Spring Classic Fishing and Conservation Weekend at Cabela's

March 16-17

We will have a table and a presence at the spring classic fishing and conservation weekend at Cabela's on March 16th and 17th. We could use a few folks to help us man the table and perhaps even do a little drooling over the newest fishing gear.

Contact Jim Jowsey at outreach@wnytroutunlimited.org if you can spare a few hours and help us out.


Fly Tying

Ongoing

Selling flies tied by our members is one of our longest standing fundraisers for the chapter. Folks come from all around every year to the fair and other events, seeking us out to replenish their fly boxes. It's actually a pretty amazing thing to see. If you would be willing to tie us a dozen or so flies to donate to the chapter we would be eternally grateful. Contact shows chair Brian Barrey at bazzbozz@gmail.com to find out what we're low on or to arrange pickup.


DEC Habitat Projects

Various days and times

When the weather get nicer we are always involved in habitat and stream restoration projects with the DEC and other local partners. Most of these projects involve getting a bit dirty or wet and a shovel of some sort. Otherwise, having a blast outdoors. We'll let you know when these opportunities come up.



Erie County Fair
 

Aug 7-18

Over the years we've had a long standing relationship with the Erie County Fair, having our information and membership table in the Conservation Building. The 2024 Erie County Fair is slated for August 7-18 and this one is a heavy lift as we have to staff our table for 12 days. We could really use the help. As always you'll get a free pass to the fair. Please contact shows chair, Brian Barrey at bazzbozz@gmail.com if you can help us out.


We are lucky enough to have in our area TU National staffer Kyle Glenn, who is heading up a number of Citizen Science initiatives in the area and could really use some assistance. If either of these current projects interest you please contact Kyle directly at kyle.glenn@tu.org.

Salt Watch: WNY TU has partnered up with the Isaak Walton League of America to aid in collecting road salt data in watersheds that have not been previously sampled. High concentrations of NaCl in road runoff can be detrimental to macroinvertebrate populations. WNY TU is doing their part to help bridge the Salt Watch NY data gap and investigate causes for perceived macroinvertebrate decline in our local watersheds. Volunteers for this survey receive an envelope from Kyle Glenn and then send their results via email to Kyle Glenn post sampling. Envelopes are handed out during TU meetings. 

Quantitative Macroinvertebrate Survey: WNY TU has spear-headed a ten-year study to investigate macroinvertebrate population densities from a riffle on Wiscoy Creek in Wyoming county. This data will be crucial for building a model to assess factors that could be impacting local macroinvertebrate communities. Volunteers will be given a macroinvertebrate primer course in a field prior to data collection by Kyle Glenn. Volunteers of all ages can help with the various stages of collecting, sorting, counting and data collection. Date for spring 2024 collection TBD. 

We are required to track volunteer hours to send to TU National. We've developed this simple tool that we ask folks fill out monthly to report volunteer hours. CLICK HERE for the online form. Thanks!