Stavelot was born from Amblève. There is no doubt: its first inhabitants were attracted by its clear waters full of fish. The first Stavelotans were undoubtedly fishermen.

The men who founded the company La Truite in 1910 therefore only followed in their footsteps. Let us mention among others the members of its first committee: Alfred Briska (President), Armand Schuind (Vice-President), Jean Levarlet (Secretary), Emile Dubois (treasurer), Armand Grégoire, Charles Dopagne, Henri Marechal and Edmond Gaspar.

A company more than a century old, La Truite has crossed the twentieth century to the rhythm of the whims of the Amblève, of multiple and memorable catches. The archives attest to this: from 1910 to 1940, we learn, for example, that trout and salmon are the delight of Stavelotians, but also of Marcatchous coming from much further afield (Verviers, Liège, etc.) expressly to brandish their poles in these limpid waters.

Pure means of subsistence at the dawn of the twentieth century, fishing is also gradually becoming a leisure activity and a sport. Large popular competitions were regularly organized at the David ponds.

And it is also in this that the associative nature of La Truite takes on its full meaning. Young and old found satisfaction and fulfillment there for many years.

But dark times are ahead: despite the tanneries and two wars, La Truite will hold on! This was without counting on the industrialization of the banks of the Warche (paper mills, dairy, etc.) in the 1960s, as well as the constantly increasing waste from the populations living along the Amblève and its tributaries. All these attacks got the better of the fish and therefore the fishermen.

For many years, the people of Stavelot have seen their river red one day, nauseating the next day, green or gray the day after…

Until one fine day in 1993 when the Malmedy wastewater treatment plant was commissioned. Others will follow suit quickly. Under this impetus, it didn’t take a year to see trout and grayling gobage bloom again here and there, the eddy of a pike surprised by the passage of an onlooker, amorous frolics of ducks… Nature had reasserted itself!

The company, which remained dormant during this long period, experienced a new boom under the impetus of Léon Colinet, Jean-Marie Lagamme, Jean-Marie Parmentier and their comrades.

Thank them sincerely!

At the beginning of the 2000s, more than 120 members were listed and fervently practiced their passion.

The Trout is relaunched and, alongside it, the Amblève river contract is born with the leitmotif of the protection and sustainable management of the river so that such a situation can never happen again.

Sources: the Amblève archives by Patrice lefebvre and Jean-Marie Parmentier. Stavelot 2000.

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