Despite gloomy weather on Saturday, April 12, the National Trout Center hosted an open house where community members and anglers could gather to meet Richard Enochs, the new program coordinator for the NTC. BRETTA GRABAU/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS
Despite gloomy weather on Saturday, April 12, the National Trout Center hosted an open house where community members and anglers could gather to meet Richard Enochs, the new program coordinator for the NTC. BRETTA GRABAU/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS
Minnesota's Stream Trout Fishing season opener dawned Saturday with one of the first thunderstorms of the year. Many anglers from all over the area descended on the streams only to be driven away by darkness and downpour. Several even braved harsh rain and difficult driving conditions to partake in the trout season opening.

However, partly because of the weather, many anglers migrated to the National Trout Center in Preston to get out of the rain and to meet the newly hired program coordinator for the center, Richard Enochs.

After living in several other parts of the country, Enochs and his wife, Nancy, a real estate agent, moved from Pennsylvania and settled down to live in Winona 25 years ago. While in Winona, he was employed as a composites engineer, creating reinforced plastic and other lightweight materials. For many years he worked at the British chemical company, ICI Fiberites, in Winona and eventually moved on to Composite Products and became the president of Wenonah Canoe.

As a business leader, Enochs has a great understanding of business facets such as marketing, fundraising and more. In addition to this experience, he has been a fisherman nearly all his life, traveling to places from Pennsylvania to Northern California to Montana for fishing.

Though he has been retired for the past five years, Enochs has not often thought of returning to work or doing more than reading, writing and household projects.

He and his wife have been happily married for over 50 years and have three grown children and a golden retriever. His wife currently sells real estate so he often cooks the meals. He claims to be a great cook.

"Now that I have started this job, my wife will be a little disappointed to not have a professional cook at home anymore," he joked.

Since he began living in the southeastern Minnesota region, he regularly fished in the area and often looked at the National Trout Center website to see what news they had to offer.

"I heard of the position for project coordinator on the Internet because I regularly visit the site," Enochs related. "I sent in my resume and since I have worked with both profit and non-profit organizations in Winona, the board thought I would be a good fit."

Because of his history with fly-fishing, Enochs offers a wealth of knowledge about fishing and the outdoors. As the program coordinator, this knowledge, both general knowledge and streamside knowledge, is essential along with provisional leadership.

With his experience as a well-rounded businessman and fisherman, he hopes to pass on his understanding of fishing to anyone who wants to learn. In order to accomplish this, there are a number of groups to whom he hopes to pass on educational knowledge of fish and the skills involved in trout fishing. Several of these groups include youth groups from the region, church program groups, Wounded Warriors, the Boy Scouts, Cure for Cancer and vulnerable adults who lack some of the skill sets necessary to protect themselves or have some mental difficulty.

In his new position at the National Trout Center, Enochs hopes to make a number of improvements in relation to the community and the country. One of his priorities will be improving the communication of the center with the community itself. He is aiming to be more available to the city council and the press as well as be much more active in fundraising. He is looking forward to planning fundraisers for later in the fall. In particular, Enochs expressed a desire to look into forming partnerships with major fly-fishing companies in the United States and retailers such as Gander Mountain.

In spite of the gloomy weather on Saturday, many anglers and residents stopped by to become more familiar with the new member of the National Trout Center's leadership.

Providing delicious cookies, coffee and lunch, the new program coordinator demonstrated a desire to be hospitable to those who came to the center for the first time or simply to meet him and welcome him to the Preston community.

Already Enochs has demonstrated his desire for good communication and developing positive relationships in the area.