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