Scrapbook Photo 04/11/21 - 20 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA:
Westmoreland County Conservationist Denny Hess Receives Trout Unlimited Award

Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited recently presented Denny Hess of North Huntingdon the Chapter’s Russ Mowery Memorial Silver Trout Award for his distinguished service.  Denny serves as the chapter’s Vice President. 

But the award is more to recognize his many years of dedicated service to help preserve the wild trout fishery in Linn Run State Park in eastern Westmoreland County. 

Rock Run, a tributary of Linn Run, was severely damaged by decades of acid rain.  With grants from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, scientists from Penn State University completed studies and recommended a course of action of large-scale limestone dosing and acid buffering. 

The Forbes Trail Chapter accomplished a feasibility study using 100 tons of limestone sand in 2005.  The treatment is ongoing and has improved both the pH and alkalinity to the point that the stream now supports a healthy population of wild brook trout.

Denny monitors the chemical parameters of Rock Run and Lynn Run on a year-round, monthly basis.  The data is preserved in a publicly available database and will be used in an upcoming Coldwater Conservation Plan for the watershed.

 Denny also manages the periodic delivery and distribution of the somewhat unique limestone from a quarry in Bellefonte, PA.  His dedication and hard work has assured the ongoing health of the stream and fishery.

This award is named for the late Russ Mowery, a founding member of the Forbes Trail chapter. For many years after his retirement from the Latrobe Steel Company, Russ owned and operated Mowry’s Fly Box, in Latrobe, PA.

Russ was a legendary fly tyer specializing in the intricate and detailed Catskill style dry flies. He was also a great fly fishing teacher and mentor.

Ironically, he is most remembered for the simple-to-tie Green Weenie he and fellow Forbes Trail member Ken Igo invented as a teaching tool for students new to the sport. It remains one of the most effective trout flies and can be found in almost every fly box.

For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited website.

(Photo: Denny Hess presented Silver Trout Award by Chapter President, Larry Myers.)

[Posted: Sept. 8, 2020]


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