RipRap has undergone a lot of changes in the recent past. After we lost our free printing and with the rising cost of postage, we decided to end the paper copy and email it to all members. The work of editing and layout is a laborious process, so we moved to publishing bimonthly. With the longer lead times, RipRap could no longer be easily used to update members on chapter events. RipRap will now enter a new phase. It will consist of brief emailed updates of chapter events, reports, and stories, with links to the full-length offerings on our web page. I’m a bit sad to see the old RipRap go, but excited for this new format that will allow us to be unshackled from page restraints, allowing for more words, photos, and now videos!

Our May 4th chapter meeting was at Rush River Brewing and featured our chapter awards. In case you missed our meeting, I want to give you a recap.

Randy Arnold singled out seven work-day volunteers who tallied at least 10 outings; during this past winter, most of those were under adverse conditions — see Randy’s article on page 3. Thanks so much to these seven and all the others who participated in our work days. We heard at the April chapter meeting how much the DNR appreciates your efforts, as does my backcast.

John Kaplan was awarded the Silver Trout award by the chapter. John and I joined the KIAP board at the same time nine years ago. My first memory of John was when we showed up at a stream monitoring workshop given by Kent Johnson. I got to know John as we carpooled to the Trimbelle and back to Glen Park for the training. John really took that training to heart and has been Kent’s right hand man ever since, installing and maintaining loggers, downloading the data, and championing the use of the WiseH2O app that is now being adopted by all of TU. I also got to know John on those cold January mornings when we would leave at 5 am, often in a snow storm, on our “spawning run.” Picking up eggs at the 7 Pines Hatchery in Frederic, delivering them to all the TIC classrooms, and giving a presentation at each one. I couldn’t have done it without my “co-pilot.”

Tom Schnadt was awarded the Gold Trout award. Tom has been a long-time board member and recent past president of KIAP. I got to know
Tom as a board member when he was president. Tom gave you the freedom to find your passion in the chapter and then did everything he could to help you nurture that passion. He was so supportive of Trout in the Classroom and later Bugs in the Classroom when we first started up. He has been a huge advocate of youth education, starting up our inclusion in the Pheasants Forever Youth Day and Rocky Branch ECO Day. He seems to be just as involved in the chapter after “retirement” and I am afraid that I lean on him too much. When Covid struck, Tom was instrumental in allowing us to pivot to an on-line auction when we did not have the banquet as an option. He has headed up the 4×100 raffle and been crucial for our presence at the Fly Fishing Expo. He still volunteers for TIC, BIC, ECO Day, Randy’s workdays, and whatever else we come up with. He is great at getting others to volunteer as well. After all, who can say “no” to Tom?

I want to point out, in case you did not see in the latest issue of WI Trout, that our ex-offico president/board member, Scott Wagner, was given the Leadership award by the Wisconsin State Council. This award was well deserved. As I try to fill his big shoes, one could not have a better mentor as president. He is always there for me and willing to pick me up every time I stumble. I couldn’t do this job without him. Thanks, Scott!

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