About Us


The Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited chapter was founded in 1962 because of the concerns for the health of our local streams and the wild trout that live in them. Long-time member Dick Nelson provided a detailed history of the chapter.

Founded in 1959 in Grayling, Michigan, Trout Unlimited is America’s leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization. TU’s 100,000 members in 455 chapters nationwide are dedicated to the conservation, protection, and restoration of North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. The original letter proposing the foundation of Trout Unlimited is preserved here.

Our chapter, since its beginning, has been involved with many activities from river clean-up, stream monitoring, bank erosion and its reconstruction, fish shocking, invertebrate studies and fly fishing clinics, along with the many concerns that effect our environment in today’s society. Our work on the river needs continuous attention, dedication and volunteer labor from trout enthusiasts, because what affects us today will be left behind for the next generations. Our chapter work and contributions to rivers include: the Pere Marquette, Rogue, Muskegon, Au Sable and Coldwater Rivers.

In 2000, the chapter added “Schrems” to its name to honor the efforts of a founding TU member Cornelius Schrems. This is intended to be more than a gesture of appreciation. Our hope is that it will be a constant reminder that we have to work to continue the Schrems’ legacy.


During the annual spring banquet SWMTU honors individuals and organizations that have helped improve the coldwater resources in West Michigan.

The C. R. Evenson Award, established in 1971, recognizes contributions toward preserving the environment.

The Cornelius Schrems Award, established in 1975, recognizes outstanding service to fellow fishermen through extraordinary contributions to the arts, skills, and lore of trout fishing.

The Bud Kanouse Award, established in 2004, recognizes contributions to the Schrems West Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the genesis for which is derived from innate attributes such as creativity, artistic talent, and the ability to motivate.

The Cornelius M. Schrems Scholarship is is awarded to a current Michigan State University student of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife who works toward the mission of SWMTU.

Annual Spring Banquet


SWMTU operates as a non-profit organization under the umbrella of national Trout Unlimited. As such, we publish the documents that guide our future and recognize our past.