February Presidents Desk
President’s column Joe Knight
We have been sending out emails on work days, chapter meetings as such to Clear Waters TU members, but we have not had a full newsletter for a while, or at least no president’s column, so let’s correct that.
First an update: Last summer Al Noll stepped down as president because of health issues. I became president. Dick Duplessie, who was the chapter’s president many moons ago, joined the board and became vice president.
Both of us are recently retired, although my retirement was a little more abrupt than his.
Al seems to be doing well and remains an active member of the board. The chapter has a 10-member board.
Trout and Bohemian Beer
This fall we moved our chapter programs to the Lazy Monk, known for its Bohemian-style beer. I am not sure if it is the beer or the programs, but attendance has increased. Root beer is also served here for younger members. The speakers have included Eau Claire fishing guide Steve Wisner, who used to guide anglers on famous western trout streams before returning to Wisconsin and rediscovering the rivers with smallmouths, muskies and a host of other warm water species. Fly tying guru Bob Haase talked about how to organize a Western fishing trip on the cheap and also fielded fly-tying questions from the crowd. Local DNR fish manager Joseph Gerbyshak discussed projects, past and upcoming, including a trout transfer project on Duncan and Elk creeks the chapter is funding where DNR is moving trout from crowded headwater areas to downstream areas where densities are low. The initial results have been bigger trout in both upstream and downstream areas. He also handed out copies of the results of trout population surveys done last summer on area streams – always interesting information for trout anglers.
Thursday program on fishing Wisconsin spring creeks
Jim Bartlet, a retired Madison teacher who has been guiding on the Driftless area spring creeks since 1990, will speak at our February meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 at Lazy Monk. Several chapter members have fished with Jim and have found it educational, as well as usually catching a bunch of trout.
Clear Waters Website
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Jim Erickson the chapter has a new website: WCWTU.com (Wisconsin Clear Waters Trout Unlimited). If you just google Clear Waters TU you’ll get a different chapter. The site includes a calendar so you can look up when the next meeting is and read some background on the speaker, or check out when and where the next work day is. You can even sign up on the webpage, so we’ll know how many bratwursts to order to feed the troops. There are photos of chapter activities. The homepage has a photo of an extremely large brown trout shocked from Sand Creek last fall by Dave Carlson. It’s maybe not a typical trout from our area, but it catches your attention.
Sand Creek work day
Speaking of Sand Creek, our first work day of the year will be 9 a.m. Feb. 18 at Sand Creek, a tributary of the Red Cedar River that enters the river at the Village of Sand Creek in Dunn County. We will be cutting and moving brush to prepare for “Phase 2” of habitat work on the creek this summer.
Other chapter activities
Jeff Barytinski is teaching a fly tying class again this winter with help from other chapter members. First Congregational Church is letting us use their meeting room. Yours truly, Tim Meyer and Jim Erickson spent a Saturday with several members of the Kiap-tu-wish Chapter at a chainsaw safety course. DNR wants volunteers to have this class, and wear certain protective clothing, before using a chainsaw on DNR land or a DNR lease. Jim said he plans to limit his chainsaw involvement to taking pictures of somebody operating a chainsaw.
Erickson receives State Council award
At the state council banquet Saturday (Feb 4) in Oshkosh our own Jim Erickson received the “Certificate of Appreciation” for his work on the website, Facebook, organizing the banquet, cooking at work days, and other activities. Much deserved.
Also at the banquet fish manager Marty Engel, based in Baldwin, received the “Resource Professional” Award. He retired Jan. 3. Marty has worked closely with the Kiap-TU-Wish folks and our chapter for many years. In 1999 Marty, fish manager Jim Holzer and Duke Welter of TU worked to develop a habitat crew with heavy equipment that has gotten a lot done on stream in our area, with a little help from clubs and TU chapter.