Attendance and Minutes
President Joe Gendrich, Treasurer Bob Schuster and wife Susie, and Board Member Dave Neuswanger were present. Joe reviewed Minutes from our previous meeting (held on 1/21/16 prior to the Family Ice Fishing Event in February). Bob moved to approve, Dave seconded, and the Minutes were approved unanimously.
Bob Schuster – Current balance in WFNW checking account = $17,844.44
Included in the current balance is a $500 donation from Pat Clough (wife of the late Jack Clough, former WFNW Director who was honored with a plaque at our February Family Ice Fishing Event). Pat sent Bob a thoughtful note that read as follows: “My daughter and I were very impressed with the WFNW fishing contest. The many volunteers were so well organized and so very kind and helpful! We are enclosing some financial support in Jack’s memory and thank you again for honoring him.” [Note to members: Jack Clough and Leon Pastika worked with Bob Schuster to organize the very first Family Ice Fishing Event, which has since become the primary source of funding for all WFNW activities.]
Bob still needs to pay WRLS Radio (~$400) and Poppe Disposal (~$100) for their services during the Family Ice Fishing Event, but all other Event bills have been paid.
The current balance reflects our previously approved contribution of $500 to the Exeland Rod and Gun Club, made through SCOPE, as an area youth involvement incentive. It was noted by Dave Neuswanger that expected participation by Winter area youth at the recent Family Ice Fishing Event did not materialize for reasons unknown to members in attendance.
$ 500 to the Winter Lakes Alliance to support their Annual Kids Fishing Day
$ 500 to the U.S. Forest Service (Kathy Moe) to support their Annual Kids Fishing Day
$ 200 for a youth prize (loaded tackle box) to Treland’s upcoming Walleye Challenge on the Chippewa Flowage. At Bob’s request, the next day (4/22) Dave advised Tatum and Cheryl Treland this donation would be made soon (prior to their May event).
$500 to Fishing Has No Boundaries
After a motion by Joe Gendrich and second by Dave Neuswanger, the Treasurer’s Report was approved unanimously.
– Joe Gendrich reported that Secretary Rick Hasselquist (out-of-state during this meeting) has a master list of all donors (prizes and/or cash) to the 2016 Family Ice Fishing Event. A formal expression of our thanks is pending the availability of this list and assignment of note-writing duties to various members who know the donors best. Bob Schuster agreed to design and procure “thank-you” note cards from our local printer, with photo(s) and our WFNW logo, to be used by assigned members to write personal thank-you notes to all donors. Dave Neuswanger agreed to draft a “template” for such notes, which members will be encouraged to embellish and personalize as they deem appropriate. An overall community “thank you” will be posted by Rick on our website as well.
We reflected upon logistics at the recent Family Ice Fishing Event in an attempt to decide what worked and what did not. Joe liked the parking area layout on the ice after testing for safe thickness, so we will incorporate that into our annual routine. Rick Marks had asked Joe if we should consider holding the event earlier in order to ensure appropriate weather and ice conditions. Though up for further discussion, if we had held the event even two weeks earlier in 2016 (unusually warm January), ice thickness would not have been sufficient for safe vehicle traffic. Tongue-in-cheek, Bob Schuster placed Dave Neuswanger in charge of ensuring appropriate weather for future events.
– On Thursday, May 12 at 5:00 p.m. there will be a dedication ceremony for the new barrier-free fishing dock located at the CC North boat ramp on the Chippewa Flowage. WFNW contributed to this project, and several board members plan to attend the dedication. All interested members are encouraged to attend.
– Treland’s 2016 Walleye Challenge will be held out of Treland’s Resort on the Chippewa Flowage starting Thursday night (Guide’s Night), May 12 and ending after the lunchtime awards ceremony concludes on Sunday, May 15. Dave Neuswanger agreed to represent WFNW starting at 11:00 a.m. Sunday in order to receive a donation to WFNW on behalf of Trelands Walleye Challenge. He will have membership sign-up forms available and has arranged to have our banner displayed at the gathering (will need Joe to retrieve from storage in Stone Lake). Dave will be prepared to say a few words of thanks on behalf of our organization.
-Dave, Joe, and Bob started a serious discussion about WFNW taking a lead role in assembling partners to help purchase a “habitat barge” that can be used to deploy natural field stone along badly eroding shorelines on the Chippewa Flowage, providing optimal-size cobble as walleye spawning substrate in the near-shore zone. The first and biggest opportunity at this time involves the many eroding islands and points on the Chippewa Flowage, where natural-rock shoreline treatment would improve aesthetics, add vital walleye spawning
habitat, and help to preserve cultural resources (artifacts/graves) on the islands. Step One is for Dave to arrange a meeting with Joe and WDNR Fishery Biologist Max Wolter as soon as Max’s busy spring schedule will permit (late May or early June), in order to ballpark project cost and learn DNR’s current plans and potential future commitments to such a project. Step Two will be for Dave and Joe to conduct several meetings with prospective partners to determine cost feasibility and logistics. Members attending our meeting this evening felt that WFNW should be willing to pledge $2,500/year for the next two years (total encumbrance = $5,000) in order to “get the ball rolling” and see who else might be willing to join in the effort. All avenues will be explored to leverage as much partner funding as possible. Our initial list of potential partners include the Wisconsin DNR (shoreline landowner); LCO Tribal Governing Board (shoreline landowner); U.S. Forest Service (shoreline landowner); Xcel Energy (power company who regulates water levels under a license exemption agreement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission); Lake Chippewa Flowage Resort Association; Chippewa Flowage Area Property Owners Association; Muskies, Incorporated; Sawyer County Lakes Forum; and likely many others. Matching funds may also be available in the form of various federal or state grants for aquatic habitat improvement. This will be an ongoing topic of discussion at future meetings, so if you have opinions or ideas, please attend and share.
Our final discussion revolved around the need for recruitment to our group so that existing members who have shouldered the burden for several years can begin to mentor and train new members to move the effort forward. There were no silver bullets, but all current members are encouraged to bring their ideas for recruitment of new members to future meetings.
NEXT MEETING: Thursday, May 19 at 5:00 p.m. at Trelands Resort off Highway B, where Cheryl Treland’s staff will be prepared to take orders and serve meals to our group while we meet in the game room off the main bar and restaurant.