C.A.R.E. & Fishing Report
From mid-May to 1st week of June I was in Texas & Oklahoma working on a Documentary Film to be called Healing on the Fly, with a group of Disabled Combat Veterans on the benefits on Flyfishing for people suffering for PTSD & TBI. Which is being filmed by another disabled combat Veteran with Grant monies, funding from Patriot Anglers Veterans Group, and from us at Sacred Waters CO. As well as product sponsorship from Companies like Abel Reels, Ross Reels, Fishpond, Flycraft, Let It Fly, Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co., Yeti, and Veteran Owed Companies like Rise Fishing, SemperFly Rods, Come & Take It Coffee, and Beard Commander. This is an ongoing project that will be going on for the next year of 2018 with hopes of Film release in 2019. This film project will not only help get the word out on the benefits of flyfishing with those struggling with mental or physical difficulties/disabilities, it will also help get exposure for groups such as Disabled Combat Veterans like Patriot Anglers of N. TX & S. OK and Sacred Waters CO Inc. & Foundation. We also got in a Fundraising Event with the Frisco Rough Rider Minor League Baseball Team benefiting Patriot Anglers Veterans Group which we raised almost $5000 from that Military Appreciation Night. I tried my best to email you all on updates from Sacred Waters CO while I was on the road and Thank You All for all your Support and Donations, and Memberships. Having to return to Pagosa Springs for our Fishing Event with Archuleta School District Special Needs Youth event at SWCO -W4 Ranch which was a great success and tons of Fun. Then we started the Guide trips for our Donor Members and has been fairly non-stop ever since, as we try to get in the best fishing before this years extreme drought causes us to start adjusting and closing down ranches due to low warm waters. Photos in slideshow above are a little sample of what we been up to here at Sacred Waters CO lately.
We have accomplished a lot in 2017 & moving into 2018 from Donations from our Original 2017 Charter Donors.
Conservation: We protected, preserved, and enhanced over 12+ miles of Waters in the San Juan & Pine/Los Pinos drainage's. One we Limited Fishing pressures/abuse in these waters to single digit percentages compared to what a Normal Commercial Outfitting business would put on the Fisheries. We also opened up access and fishing to these high quality waters not only to Donors, but to multiple disabled Veterans (16ppl total in 3 different veterans groups in 2017), 6 disabled/handicap children this Spring 2018, for few of the general public through our donations of Gift Certificates for Guided Trips not only helping expose SWCO & our CARE Mission but to help raise, money for other nonprofit groups fundraising events like Auction Prizes of Guided Fly Fishing Trips with SWCO for Vets for Vets of Archuleta County at the Veterans Golf Tournament fundraiser, Veterans Memorial Park of Archuleta County in Pagosa Springs, CO. Duck Unlimited Banquet for Wetlands Conservation, and course our Donors and their guests, that which would not be possible without the Sacred Waters Mission and business model.
We had a fisheries study done on the EFR that showed us a lack of good wild rainbow trout reproduction which we then planted/stocked in replication of a batch of rainbow trout fry hatching & growing from what would normally be a spawn in the Spring of the year rainbow trout fingerlings 2"-5" (2 different age classes & genetics) fish in the tributary creeks & side channel of the East Fork of the San Juan last Fall 17 and another of a lesser quantity 250 and slightly older/larger rainbows 5"-12" this week with plans on an ongoing study of this project for years to come with a Fisheries Biologist and Stream-work Specialist to collect and build a historical data of our Conservation efforts, successes/failures, etc... To manage our fisheries as wild and healthy as possible.
We have also been able to open an Interest growing savings account Conservation Fund from Guest Fees that can carry over unlike most Non-profit Accounts to build a fund for future Conservation Efforts Only.
Advocacy: Still in the startup stage of things. We truly want to be a force for change for our local community as well as throughout the State and hopefully Nationwide. We do believe we do educate enough people's through our guided fishing trips and charity events to advocate for our environment, as well as many shared educational information through our websites, blog posts, and social media pages. To be honest I'm kind of a one man show here, doing most 75+% of everything SWCO related myself so advocating through meetings with government agencies for better regulations, better management of our waters, etc... Has taken the back burner for a short period. I spent almost 9 years pre-SWCO working on these efforts and will hopefully get back to that or have more/new board members dedicated to this Mission Goal as we grow.
Rehabilitation: Other than previously mentioned rehab of our waters through fisheries management changes such as limited fishing pressure/abuse and the start of our biological studies and project of the fingerling/fry stockings/plantings to best manage our waters.
We have helped human rehabilitation efforts through not only raising money for Patriot Anglers Disabled Veterans group, raise money for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Veterans Groups, Archuleta County Vets For Vets Group, and the Archuleta County Veterans Memorial Park. We also got to help our US Disabled Combat Veterans with Flyfishing therapy by being able to host 3 (16 Veterans) Veterans Groups in 2017 and have scheduled 3 groups (of 16 or more) for 2018 veterans events with possibly 1-2 more veterans events in 2018. As this past May we hosted an event for the Disabled/Handicap Children from the Pagosa School District teaching them about fishing and get some happiness & healing through fishing. Also with the Healing on the Fly Film Project we hope to reach an even larger audience of the benefits of fishing in rehab of people struggling/suffering from many medical, social, economic difficulties.
Education: We believe every person we communicate with through our Guide Trips, Youth &/or Veterans Events, and through the internet on our Websites, Blog Posts, Emails, and/or Social Media posts we are Educating not only on fishing knowledge but of the therapeutic qualities of fly fishing & being in nature, proper management & respect for our environment, building future advocates for social change not only in fisheries management, but in helping others, respect for our military families, the handicap, and disadvantaged peoples of our community and beyond.
Other Accomplishments outside of the CARE Mission, Donations/Memberships helped achieve:
We had restructured into 2 Organizations for 2018 a 501c7 Non-profit Social Club and a 501c3 Charity Foundation. This in turn not only helps SWCO gets better tax breaks to make your donations go further it help the Donor receive the best tax breaks & charitable tax deductions. So with future donations 60% goes to the Charity Foundation to benefit our Charity work/ Mission Goals and only 40% goes to Guide Trip Fees and basic operating expenses of the Club. This did cost a lot of money in government application fees, attorney fees, and accountant fees.
We have also bought a second domain name/website for the Charity Foundation, post office box, and phone number to have proper arm's length separation of the 2 organizations as per IRS requirements.
We had also purchased catchable sized fishes for a few of our ranch ponds for our Veterans & Youth events to help give the best and somewhat easier fishing to those with greater disabilities who may not be able to handle the river fishing and/or struggling in the learning process to help keep action going and interest higher to learn the art of Flyfishing, and therapeutic benefit of Flyfishing with lesser difficulties.
Rental of Bathroom Facility at our Upper Weber Ranch Lake & River area where we hold most of our larger group events. Not only for the convenience for children, women, and disabled. But also help keep our environment clean in a more heavily used area that we can provide easily fishing as for accessibility, easier fishing, and room for larger groups.
Purchases of Fishing Equipment for our Events such as leader, tippet, and flies for our Free Charity Events, but Prizes to our Charity guests (Veterans/Youth/Disabled). As well as purchased some fishing gear for the Veterans Documentary Film Project.
Ability to Lease a few more properties/conservation waters for 2018. We had a few ranches we worked with in the past that wanted to continue working with us as Sacred Waters CO with donors generous donations in 2017 & plans of growth in 2018 we had been able to lease some additional waters that we did not feel would be possible last year when we were first starting out. Not only has this help conserve even more waters locally, it has given donors/members more variety of places to fish, more locations to spread out pressure &/or save the day if another location becomes unfishable, and more places to handle more & larger charity groups/events. As well as giving us the ability to offer a cheaper more accessible Bronze Level fishing package that not only exposes SWCO & Our CARE Mission to more people can be a little tester/teaser to generate more higher level donations in the future from those people.
Donations also helped us have the budget/funding to donate cash money to other Charity Groups such as Patriot Anglers, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Trout Unlimited, & Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
Finally the additional Free Gifts following suite of most Donor/Member Non-Profit Organizations we offer the Free Gifts like many of you 2017 Donors had received to help drive donations from as many people's as possible many of whom unfortunately may possibly care a little more about what they get than what they are truly giving to others.
Another thing not mentioned above but also an expense last year's monies paid for is I had joined a few Non-profit websites that help match donors, volunteers, &/or board members to nonprofit organizations. Hopefully this too will help us diversify the board. I would love to have at least one person on the board that specializes in each area we are involved in, from environmental sciences, veterans affairs, youth, disabled people's, grants writing, non-profit organizing, public relations, internet/media marketing/advertising, and so forth.
Finally as for clarity of where donations are being spent outside of just fishing. I have always planned to send a regular email newsletter to donors and will do so as soon as possible just purchased an Email Newsletter Program. But as of present I updated our Social Media Pages most often every few days on Facebook and Instagram so those are 2 outlets you can receive most update happenings at SWCO followed by usually monthly updates our 2 websites www.sacredwaters.co and www.sacred-waters.org and most detailed easiest to find information on the Blog page of the websites.
Fishing Report: As our waters rose up into somewhat of a Run-off in early June we were still able to fish and fishing was very good with many a wild, holdover, and occasional pellethead immigrates migrating about the river systems. As the waters began to fall, clear, and warm up we started to get hatches of many different species of insects actually almost too many. We have had aquatic insects that should hatch all throughout late May, all June, & early July all coming off at once due to the extremely strange year we've had here this year because of the low snowpack and Hot Dry, Spring and Early Summer so far. We had fantastic dry fly fishing when we should of barely been able to streamer or nymph fish if it was a normal average year, but the downside of that now is we are getting into such extreme drought conditions now that we are starting to shut down some of our Conservation Waters due to high water temperatures sticking to of Mission, Rules, Regulations, & Procedures. Going on the ole' sayings sorry "you shoulda been here yesterday" or "a day late and a dollar short" our Donor Members had some epic dry-fly fishing all June with average catches of 20-30 fish per person and many trophy sized fishes on all our conservation waters.
As we look into the future here locally, I am keeping my eye on all our Conservation Waters as much as possible to determine when to close or open waters to Guiding/Fishing. We are perfectly fine on the Pine/Los Pinos River Ranches due to it is a bottom release tailwater and irrigation water the flows are staying 500-600 cfs and cool. The only concern there is we are committed to our Mission and will not over-pressure this fisheries 2 Conservation Ranches, so please be patient and call or email us ASAP to so we can schedule accordingly. As of Present Fairway Ranch (Shut Down/No Fishing), 3 of the 4 Weber Ranches (Shut Down/No Fishing), East Fork Ranch (Limited Fishing, Early Mornings, Upper Sections of the Ranch, will pull off the Water as per Water Temp Readings), Pick Bar ( Open, Full & Cold) Wommer Ranch (Open, Full & Cold), Public Waters San Juan/Animas/ NF-(Closed/No Fishing), Vallecito Lake (Open to Fish).
On the Optimistic Outlook of things they are calling for an Above Average Monsoon Season this year, so what that means is starting hopefully any day now we supposed to get Monsoonal Storms more frequently and with heavier amounts precipitation through out the rest of the Summer. Lets hope & pray they are correct on this forecast. Long Range Forecasts Click: https://www.weather.gov/gjt/CPCJuly_Outlook
If this holds to be true we should be in better shape and hopefully continue business as usual.
We are still fishing/guiding just on a more limited basis, good dry fly fishing still on our waters that aren't too warm. Sorry most of you who know me and/or read my fishing reports, blog posts, newsletters over the past lifetime of living this Fish Life know I'm pretty darn good at predicting the future weather, water conditions, insect hatches/activity, and all the ins & outs of what our upcoming trips will bring us. Well sorry this year has been and continues to be so backwards and strange I'm not going to even try to predict the future this year anytime soon.
As I stated in my last few Blog Posts and Emails this is only possible because of our Sacred Waters CO Donors that we can keep & properly manage these conservation waters for the future and Thank You ALL for all your help. Those of you who have not been involved or get involved in future her at Sacred Waters CO Please remember, respect and show gratitude for our 2017 & 2018 Donors because without them this would not of been possible.
Renewing Memberships: Donation amounts for 2017 Charter Donors are set for Life at the discounted rate if renewed Annually as discussed last year.
For New/1st Time Donors/Members their rate will be set for 3 yrs benefiting them to renew Annually if we ever have to raise the rates in the future.
Discounted Rates for 2018:
Rates for New Donor Levels for 2018 :
Bronze Level: Was $150.00. Now Only: $100.00, Applicable Guide Fees Apply and less (-)$25.00 on total Guide Fee on Bronze Level Donor Trips for all your trips in 2018.
Silver Level: Was $3500.00. Now Only: $3400.00, Less(-)$25.00 off for Guest Guide Fees for all trips in 2018.
Gold Level: Was $5500.00. Now Only: $5200.00, Less (-)$25.00 off for Guest/s Guide Fees per person per trip for all Trips in 2018.
Platinum/Corporate Level: Was $10,000.00. Now Only: $9500.00 . Less (-)$25.00 off for Guest/s Guide Fess per person per trip for all of 2018.
*Please keep in mind if you do donate in 2018 this will also be your membership renewal level for up to 3 years if you consecutively renewed annually.*
(*After December 31, 2018 all Donor Member Level Packages will go back up to Original Pricing, Guest/s Fees will also return to original pricing, and all level prices are subject to increase as we expand through the future.*)
Please review the FB & IG Social Media Pages and our Websites. I hope it can help show you all more easily and clearly the Efforts and Accomplishments SWCO has put forth with your and others donors generous donations.
Your Support of Sacred Waters is even More Crucial than ever..... And if you want to get some of the best fishing anywhere in a 100 miles of Pagosa Springs, CO in the future here. Donate Today and help us protect our local fisheries. We can't really predict or control/change the weather, but we can provide the best fishing at the best times and protect our waters and fishes at the worst times. But we can only accomplish this with your generous donations.
Why? What do you mean? You may ask...
We at Sacred Waters take our Mission and doing what's Best for the Environment Very Seriously! If we do not receive the proper amount of moisture this season we could see extremely low, clear, warm-hot water in some of our locally fisheries. Since we do Care deeply about our C.A.R.E. Mission and our local ecosystems we need to do what's Best to Protect our fisheries. We can do so by having the ability to continue our environmental protection leases of our Sacred Waters Conservation Waters/Ranches to have the funds to monitor, manage, and make improvements of these ecosystems to the highest standards which may include but not limited to limiting fishing/guiding pressure, planting trees, making necessary stream improvements, plant fingerling fishes to help sustain fish populations that may have suffered due to uncontrollable factors such as weather, water conditions on all our Sacred Conservation Waters/Ranches.
As Donors of the Sacred Waters Foundation and/or Donor Club Members of Sacred Waters CO. Inc. you provide us this ability and funds to do so through your generous donations helping us accomplish this Mission. Our 2017 Donor Charter Members have made this all happen and with renewals of their memberships starting to come through recently I have faith that we will continue our Mission well into the future.
As for you new interested parties we can not grow without you!
We do have a Limited Total of 15 Donor Fishing Memberships at present structure (subject to expand as we grow). Our Platinum/Corporate Level (5ppl/Co.'s + their guest/s), Gold Level (5ppl + guest/s), Silver Level (5ppl. + guest) Level Donors that gets more Guided Flyfishing Access to even more Exclusive Private Conservation Waters/Ranches as well as a New Bronze Level Fishing Donor Member Level.
Please Call or Email for Details or what Levels have openings we are getting more limited in availability in some levels currently.
Thank you all for your continuous support, encouragement, and interest in Sacred Waters CO.
Let It RAIN!,
Our President Joseph Eichelberger, with 19 years of guiding experience and a long family heritage of responsible outdoorsmanship, brings a unique perspective to our blog as he promotes fishing conservation and education in Pagosa Springs, CO where he's lived since 2009.