Longtime CWTU member Bob Hunt was inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame on April 21, 2012. Bob was inducted along with his brother Richard Hunt, both of them spending their career working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the former Wisconsin Conservation Department. Between them they worked 69 years with the system. Bob spent his career as a fish biologist working to improve our cold water trout streams, and Richard worked as a wildlife biologist working primarily in waterfowl and wetlands.
Bob (left) and his brother Richard (right)
Bob Hunt began his career with the Wisconsin Conservation Department in 1959 when the state's trout program was struggling with degraded stream conditions with poor natural reproduction in most streams. Because of this most streams relied on stocking rather than natural reproduction. Bob believed that improving the streams so that natural reproduction could take place and improving habitat to increase the carrying capacity of trout in the stream was the answer over stocking hatchery raised fish. Bob also believed in stocking from wild trout rather than hatchery brood stock fish was a better alternative. Many of the methods we use today for our stream restoration work was either developed, supported, or fostered by working with many of his counterparts within the WDNR and friends outside of the WDNR working on similar concepts. Many of these techniques are identified in his book on "Trout Stream Therapy" that has become the bible for stream restoration work in the United States and even other countries.
Bob lead a research team at the Lawrence Creek station and much of his research work was done on Lawrence Creek, near Westfield. His research backed up his ideas that stream restoration and natural reproduction would provide more fish, larger fish, and better fishing than hatchery raised fish could provide. His research changed the direction of trout management for Wisconsin and we and the fish are benefiting from his work.
Bob played a large role in the creation of the Wisconsin Trout Stamp in 1977 to raise money through segregated funds for stream restoration. Can you imagine what our streams would look like today without Trout Stamp funding and the research Bob did on stream restoration?
Most of us in the Central Wisconsin Chapter know Bob though his work in our chapter as well as other chapters in the state. Anyone that has been lucky enough to have fished with Bob, or knows Bob on a personal level, also knows of his strong moral and ethical standards and willingness to share information and help others.
When you see Bob congratulate him on this great honor of being inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame and thank him for his work that has provided such great fishing for us throughout the state of Wisconsin.
John Gremmer was this year's winner of the Gold Net Award at the 2012 State Council Banquet held on February 4, in Wausau. John has provided leadership for many of CWTU's activities including Trout Fest, Master's Fly Tying Classes, Fox Valley Technical College/CWTU Fly Fishing Classes, River Keepers water monitoring program, and other chapter activities.
John was also a past president of CWTU and was responsible for introducing new technology to the chapter such as laptop computers and LCD projectors, and the development of Power Point programs about our chapter and fly fishing. He was also instrumental in improving communications by working with area newspapers and coordinating changes to our website.
John was also instrumental in recruiting many of our new members through activities that he started or by introducing them to the sport by taking them fishing. The Central Wisconsin Chapter would not be what it is today if it were not for the time and leadership John Gremmer has given this chapter.
Shawn Sullivan is WDNR Operations Supervisor for the Wild Rose Habitat crew. Shawn is also a member of CWTU and received the Resource Professional Award at the 2012 TU State Council Banquet. Shawn is at all of our stream habitat work days coordinating the work effort on the streams, and is responsible for the planning and coordination of stream habitat work for this region. Anyone that has ever attended one of our stream restoration work days knows how knowedgeable and dedicated Shawn, and his energy and enthusiasm seems to carry over to all those that work with him. It is great to see someone like Shawn receive the Resource Professiona Award for all the work he has done on area trout streams. The trout are better off and we are better off
because of his work.
A Special Appreciation Award was given to Al Niebur, DNR Fisheries Manager for Shawano, Waupaca, and Menomonie Counties. Al has worked with CWTU and other TU Chapters in the area on habitat improvement for our trout streams. Al and Shawn worked together to carry out a major habitat improvement on the Waupaca River in downtown Waupaca. It was a major project for the Central Region chapters and without Al's leadership and dedication to the project, it would have never been completed.
Because of the location and other factors, this project encountered a lot of roadblocks, and Al never gave up on getting through the roadblocks and completing the project. A kiosk located in the park downtown on the river was part of the project and shows the role TU plays in improving and monitoring our cold water streams. Handicapped fishing platforms are also being installed as part of the final part of the project. Thank you Al for your help over the years working with CWTU and other TU Chapters.
Bob Haase was the recipient of the CWTU Gold Trout Award for 2011. Dan Harmon is shown presenting Bob with the award at the banquet held in Wautoma.
On September 29, 2011, long time CWTU member Elward Engle received a Land Conservation Leadership Award at the Gathering Waters Conservancy Annual Awards meeting held at Monona Terrace in Madison. Elward received the Harold "Bud" Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in protecting some of Northeast Wisconsin's most valuable natural areas. Elward began his career with the WDNR in the 1950's and is credited by landowners, farmers, DNR staff, land trusts, and agency colleagues as one of the most hard working and humble land champions.
Elward (left) receiving his award
Many of the trout streams in the Central Wisconsin area around Wautoma run through State owned lands or have easements to allow us access to fish. Elward played a key role in the purchase of these lands or securing the easements. Elward and Bob Hunt worked together in the WDNR and the access to the streams, and the quality of fishing we have today is the result of their efforts, and their leadership, working with other DNR staff, Trout Unlimited, and area citizens. Elward's strong moral character and ethics earned him the trust of land owners and all those he worked with.
Elward is often present at a lot of our stream restoration work days and continues to share his knowledge and help in our stream restoration efforts. He often shares his knowledge of wildflowers and plants on the nature hikes that he provides every year. Thank you Elward for all you have done, and the Central Wisconsin Chapter of TU congratulates you on this well deserved achievement.