Election of Kiap-TU-Wish Board Members

Election of Kiap-TU-Wish Board Members

Board elections will take place during the April 2nd chapter meeting at Juniors Restaurant and Tap House in River Falls Wisconsin.

Listed below are Kiap-TU-Wish board recommended nominees and positions. Nominations from Kiap-TU-Wish’s general chapter membership will be considered as well. If you as a member of Kiap-TU-Wish would like to submit a board nomination, please do so by contacting the chapter board at: info@kiaptuwish.org.  

Suzanne Constantini: Board member / President 
Brock Flowers: Board member / Vice President 
Gary Horvath: Currently in year 2 as a board member / Treasurer 
Missie Hanson: Board member / Secretary
Linda Radimecky: Board member
Matt Janquart: Board member
Greg Olson: Board member / Ex-Officio

Bios of each candidate can by found on the Kiap-TU-Wish website by clicking HERE

Image by photoroyalty on Freepik

Chapter board changes and proposed new officers

Scot Stewart is stepping down from the board after serving his three-year term.  Scot was an outstanding board member and we will miss him.  He had great ideas, advice, and contacts for our chapter, honed from his many years in DNR fisheries.  He came up with many of the speakers for the chapter and gave an excellent talk himself.  He readily volunteered for our activities and I am glad he will still be an active member.  Thanks so much Scot!

Board candidates: 

Scot Larson

Scott Larson would be a replacement for Scot Stewart. He is a knowledge management professional whose career is focused on connecting people with the information they need, when they need it, wherever they are. In his current role as the Director of Enterprise Content Management at the Metropolitan Council, he leads a team of records and knowledge management analysts to transform decades of disparate institutional data into relevant, actionable knowledge for the Council and its partners.

Born and raised in Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, he spent his free time exploring the vast network of rivers and streams with a fly rod in hand. After graduating High School, Scott made the decision to dedicate his life to public service. From 1998-2016, he served in active and reserve roles in the US military, spanning the Navy, Army, and the Air Force before retiring.  During that time, he worked as a Gunners Mate, an Inspector General, a Civil Engineer, and a Knowledge Operations Manager. These roles prepared him with a unique understanding of servant leadership, transparency, and teamwork. He joined TU in 2018 with the goal of using his background and experience to contribute to TU’s mission of preserving the area’s fisheries with other like-minded individuals.

Ben Belt 

Ben replaced John Kaplan on the board after the business meeting last year, being elected by the board.  He will be voted on by the chapter at the April meeting.  Ben is passionate about getting younger members into the chapter and about making inroads at UW-RF.  He can also get donations for our auction like no other!  His bio follows:

I grew up on the Waupaca River three miles west of Waupaca, WI.  Out my back door I had a wonder piece of river with spawning gravel, holes, boulders, and undercuts that provided me tons of opportunity to observe how and when trout move, eat, sleep, and of course, take or reject my offerings.  I am blessed to have been raised on water and as an only child, I had built many solo memories wading down to my uncle’s house and reconstructing the river to pull fish in closer to shore where I could get a line to them.  My ol’ man had an old Fenwick glass rod hanging on a couple nails in the back of the garage and he allowed me to purchase some newer fly line for it and my uncle had a few ol’ timer flies that he said caught all the fish.  Just a couple 10/2 casting lessons and I was off on a new adventure. Little did I know it would be what I live and breathe for, but it’s truly a passion.  I may not stay up with the trends and have all the new and improved gadgets, but I catch fish and enjoy fooling them.

I started out in TU back when I was in middle school and my mother drove me to the Fox Valley Chapter’s Cabin Fever days.  I would listen to speakers and watch tying demos.  Although, I didn’t have a mentor there that took me under his wing, I enjoyed being part of something that cared about the fish I so much enjoyed catching.  Then high school and college days came around and life took a shift in my priorities.  It wasn’t until around 2015 when I met Wyatt Bohm from the Frank Hornberg Chapter that I drew a strong interest in getting back into TU and freeing up some time to socialize and participate in TU meetings and events.  I volunteered on workdays and was interested in becoming a board member.  Little did I know, I would be offered a promotion at work and end up moving to NY.  There I became a member of the Tiadaghton Chapter of TU and Twin Tiers Five Rivers FFi where I attended meetings for a short time before moving to TN.  I transferred membership to the Hiawassee chapter 640, but couldn’t attend events as they were on Saturdays and I worked every other Saturday and a young family kept me tied down.  Now I work Monday-Friday, no weekends and I desire to get involved.  I can provide sincere dedicated involvement, help wherever needed, and provide flies for meetings from time to time.  My strengths involve hard work and knowledge seeking.  I would like to build up youth participation in the chapters.

Michele Bevis

has served on the board for almost 3 years after taking over for the sudden departure of a board member.  Lucky for us, she has decided to run again.  Michele has been a valuable member of the board.  In the past year, she has headed up the 50th Anniversary hats/patches, Linda and Michele started the Stream Girls program, Missie and Michele wrote our Chapter of the Year submission, and she has been an integral part of the Auction team to just to name a few things.  What follows is her bio:

I grew up outside of Minneapolis and lived in the southwest for 17 years after high school . One year, I came home from New Mexico for the summer. That summer turned into decades, as I rejoined parts of my family and later met my husband. Minnesota is now my home once again.

Love of and concern for water have been driving forces in my life. I learned how to swim, water-ski, sail and canoe as a kid. Later on, I learned to kayak, raft and now paddle board. But I never even thought about fly fishing until about 8 years ago.

When I lived in the west, I did everything outdoors except fishing: hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, rafting. In New Mexico, I worked as a VISTA Volunteer for NM Solar Energy Association. As a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), I learned carpentry from the bottom up, and eventually remodeled and modernized my 70- year old adobe home. Neither contracting, nor silversmithing, multi-level marketing or geology worked out for me. But those years sure were fun!!

Eventually, as I said, I found my way back to the midwest. After finally.. finishing college in the Twin Cities, I worked at the MN Correctional Facility at Shakopee (for women) and developed an accredited Construction Technology program. Next, I managed the Green Institute Lumber (reclaimed) Warehouse, did odd carpentry jobs and fixed up old houses. My last paying job before retirement was as Office Manager for Friends of the Mississippi River, St. Paul. Now I co-manage 3 rental units, all of which are over 100 years old.

My work history has been adventurous and eclectic. Yet there were three recurring themes: working for non-profits; helping women and girls gain self-confidence and try new things; and taking actions that support a healthier planet – with specific focus on water and trees.

About 8 year ago, another friend told me about an intro fly fishing class for women at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Now I am an intermediate fly fisher, according to Cody, the guide I hired in Yellowstone this summer. To be expert, he said, I needed to master the drift and the mend. Thanks Cody – maybe I’ll be back next summer for my review… Fly fishing has given me a deeper dimension in which to engage and interact with water. I never realized how fascinating aquatic insects and their life cycles could be! I never took the time to admire or think about fish!

Every time I fish, I learn something new. While exploring known or new river stretches, I often meet friendly folks on the river who more times than not, share tips and flies. Sometimes I even catch fish! Fly fishing has given me new reasons to explore the Bighorns and the Absorokas, the mountains of northern NM and southern Colorado, Yellowstone and the Wind River Range; new reasons to visit and fish the BWCA, the North Shore and of course, closer to home, the rivers and streams of SE MN and Western WI.

Recently, I served on the board of Fly Fishing Women of MN (FFWMN) for two years, mentoring and helping with event logistics. With this club, I joined other club members for the yearly cleanups organized out of the Rush River Gun Club. Through collaboration between Friends of the Mississippi River and the MN DNR, I’ve helped with fish counts on the Vermillion. When TCTU was restoring the banks of the Vermillion a few years ago, I helped with brush clearing. I’m a member of TU through the TCTU chapter as well as the Laughing Trout Fly Tying group in Wayzata.

I would like to help more people get into fly fishing. Fly fishing is a ready avenue to sparking concern and passion for the environment, and specifically water quality and habitat. As a woman on the Kiap-TU-Wish board, I could serve as a role model for other women and girls to take notice and consider that they too, might try this unique activity and maybe add it to their lives.

I have strong organizational, logistical and writing experience. I am flexible, willing to try new things and play well with others. Being a board member would provide more options for me to give back to the waters in Wisconsin – through restoration and advocacy efforts.

Gary Horvath – Conservationist of the Year

On January 2nd, the latest issue of Fly Fisherman magazine will hit the stands. A featured article will announce that Gary Horvath was named the magazine’s 2023 Conservationist of the Year for his work on the campaign to remove the Powell and Junction Falls dams located on the lower Kinnickinnic River. Gary continues to inform and educate the general public and the River Falls city council on the negative effects the dams have on the trout population and the habitat that supports it. He has assisted with scientific studies, written grants, and spearheaded fundraising efforts with the help of other chapter members and members of the KinniCC. Now the benefits of all this hard work are starting to appear. If a proposed feasibility study is initiated by the Army Corp of Engineers and proves favorable, both dams could be taken out much sooner than expected. Thank you Gary for being our chapter’s lead on this issue year, after year, and for keeping the faith in spite of all the ups and downs.  

Be sure to get your tickets for the River Falls Film Festival on March 3rd at Tattersall.  During the event, Gary will receive his award from Ross Purnell, editor of Fly Fishing Magazine and John Frazier, Simms marketing director, who will be presenting the chapter a check for $10,000, in Gary’s honor, to aid in dam removal/restoration efforts. Let’s have a huge chapter turn out and a standing ovation for Gary when he receives this much deserved award!!!

WI Trout Report – June 2022

The Chapter had a booth at the Fly-Fishing Expo in St. Paul which was held after a two-year hiatus from Covid. It was great seeing familiar and new faces with and interest in our activities.

At our April meeting WI DNR Habitat Specialist, Nate Anderson gave a recap on the WDNR projects of 2021 along with project update for 2022 along with news on easements. Senior Fisheries Biologist, Kasey gave a presentation titled “2021 Large Stream Survey and Rush River Creel Survey Results.” In May we had our last chapter meeting before our summer break.  The meeting was held at Rush River Brewing with Steve’s Pizza provided by the chapter. Chapter awards were presented with a lot of catching up with friends and tall fish tales.  

We finished off the winter ‘brushing season’ with a couple of final workdays in April.  The snow cover was totally gone but a couple of portable pumps and some garden hose, we were able to wet things down enough to negate the fire danger while continuing to burn the slash from the trees and brush we were cutting.  A total of 66 volunteers assisted over the course of the season with 34 individuals attending more than one workday.  At our May chapter meeting held at Rush River Brewing, 7 individuals were awarded a gift certificate for having participated in 10 or more of the brushing days.  John Skelton topped the list by attending 24 workdays followed closely by Jim Tatzel with 23.  The others who filled out the list were Dave Gregg, Dave Kozlovsky, Tom Anderson, Steve Cox and Trish Hannah.  With the lack of snow cover and the late arrival of spring, the ground remained frozen till the first week of April when Randy Arnold was able to get out in the field and drive in fence posts to install another 44 bluebird nest boxes.  Sites getting the boxes were the new restoration on Cady Creek just downstream of the Cty Rd. P bridge, Gilbert Creek downstream of the Hwy 29 bridge, the South Fork of the Kinni at the Hwy 29 easement, and at the county park on the Trimbelle just downstream of Hwy 10.  A workday was held just this past Tuesday where 8 volunteers joined Randy to assist with planting trees and shrubs at the new Cady Creek restoration.  Those helping were Don Fritz, Jim Tatzel, Dan Donahue, Charlie Schlatter, Michel Bevis, Steve Wardell.

Chapter volunteers Ken and Missie Hanson, Matt Janquart and family along with Dean Hansen braved a cold Earth Day April 26th in River Falls to staff our chapters booth at the event. Turnout was good considering the unfavorable weather. 

The Kiap TU Wish Chapter staffed one of three stations related to stream conservation as part of Rocky Branch Elementary’s annual “Eco-Week” celebration. Eco-Week is a full week of nature appreciation, outdoor service learning, and environmental education for all their students.  The 4th grade students, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, participated in an electroshocking of a local tributary. Students observed four species of fish as they were collected, measured, weighed, and safely returned to the water. Students from the Renaissance Charter Academy’s “Wisconsin Waterways” high school course were also able to participate in the activity. Pairs of students captured invertebrates using D nets. Other students identified insects from charts and with the help of Dean Hansen and Kiap TU Wish members Dan Wilcox, Mark Peerenboom and Tom Schnadt. KIAP helped three Trout in the Classroom programs release their trout in Willow River State Park this May.  Along with the trout release, other activities included stream bug capture/identification and fly-casting lessons.  A great time was had by all.  Volunteers included:  Dean Hansen, John Ulman, Tom Schnadt, Ken Hanson, Missie Hanson, Patrick Sexton, Mark Peerenboom, Molly Barritt, and Greg Olson

Kiap TU Wish conducted our first STREAM Girls program on May 21st. The Ellsworth Rod and Gun Club was the host and reports were fantastic. A separate story can be found in this issue of Wisconsin Trout

Trout release volunteers Ken Hanson, Missie Hanson, Pat Sexton, Dean Hansen, and Mark Pereenboom
Those helping with tree planting from left to right:  Don Fritz. Brian Hoverson, Dan Donahoe, Dave Brockway, Charlie Schlatter, Steve Wardell, and Michel Bevis.
Kiap TU Wish STREAM Girls and volunteers in action.

2022 Driftless Symposium

This years Driftless symposium “Restoring the Driftless:  The Science, Studies and Strategies for Improving our Region’s Fishery” will be on-line.  We have lined up nineteen presentations to cover the two day event…February 23, and March 3rd.  To participate you will need to register each day utilizing the links on the  “Driftless Symposium Registration” attachment.  If you register I will follow up later this week with a more detailed program with biographies of the speakers and a more detailed description of their presentation.

I hope you will be able to attend, but if not, we hope to record all of the presentations and make them available at a later date.

Go here to for further details and links for registration.

Jeff Hastings – TUDARE Project Manager

February Chapter Meeting

  • 6 pm dinner (on your own dime) 
  • 7:00 pm – announcements followed by the program

Program:  “Euro Nymphing Overview” by our very own, Scot Stewart!!!

Scot worked for the WDNR from 1982 to 2016, as a fisheries manger and then fisheries supervisor in Baldwin and Madison.  He has been active in TU for the past 25 years, during that time serving as a state council representative and now on the KIAP board.  He has been teaching fly fishing for those 25 years as well. Scot resides in Somerset, WI, on the St. Croix River, with his wife Jo and Labrador retriever, Rosie.

For those not comfortable meeting in person or unable to make the meeting in person, use the ZOOM link below to attend the meeting virtually. 

Kiap-TU-Wish is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: February 2022 Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter Meeting
Time: Feb 2, 2022 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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For those attending in person.  We want to make these meetings as safe as possible for our members.  We strongly suggest that you are fully vaccinated and request that you wear a face covering when not eating or drinking.  Thanks!