Trout Unlimited members protect Wisconsin streams one sign at a time
When it comes to conservation leadership, it’s hard to imagine more committed and enthusiastic partners than Trout Unlimited chapters. Their members take their passion for recreational fishing and steer it into action to protect and restore coldwater resources.
Encouraging people to fish and enjoy Wisconsin’s trout streams should come with some education on how to protect the streams from the spread of aquatic invasive species. Raising awareness about AIS prevention can happen one educational sign at a time.
Here are two success stories to celebrate.
Illinois Trout Unlimited Chapters sponsor AIS awareness signs near southwest Wisconsin streams
Kudos to members of two Illinois TU chapters for their efforts to install AIS stream signs on southwest Wisconsin stiles.
River Alliance member Dick Dragiewicz responded to my newsletter request from last spring and sent out a call to his friends in the Gary Borger and Lee Wulff Chapters. These two groups have been building stiles in the Driftless Area since 2016, and they thought AIS signs would be a good addition to the effort.
In 2022, Jerry Sapp and Bill Davis led the charge to attach nine signs to stiles on popular fishing streams. They plan to visit previous TU stile project sites and install additional signs in 2023.
Wisconsin wader wash stations a model for a Boy Scout troop project in Georgia
A Boy Scout and TU member in Georgia who reached out last July for help with his Eagle Scout project.
Noah Ottinger wanted to protect his favorite fishing streams near Atlanta from AIS and needed help designing boot brush cleaning stations. His local Cohutta TU Chapter agreed to sponsor the project, and after a little Googling, he learned about the stations River Alliance and partners have been installing in Wisconsin since the New Zealand mudsnail invasion in 2011.
Thanks to his initiative, anglers in his state now have access to streamside reminders about how to stop AIS and some tools on hand to help with decontamination. He made some adjustments to the Wisconsin design and hopes that this effort brings awareness to the AIS problem not just in Georgia but nationally. His design plans are available for anyone who wants them, so let me know if you want to be in touch!
If you have sign placement ideas, want to help build boot brush stations, or would like to volunteer your time in some other way, please let River Alliance of Wisconsin know.
Invasive species are a problem that will never go away completely, and the cast of problematic characters is constantly changing. It takes all of us working together to keep our trout streams as good as they can be, especially when we work together on projects in the coming year.
– Ellen Voss, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Director
This message is made possible by generous donors who believe people have the power to protect and restore water. Become a member of River Alliance of Wisconsin today.