TROUT UNLIMITED Fox Valley Chapter

Conserving, protecting and restoring our country's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds

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Learn more about FVTU by clicking About Us.  


You can use our resources to gain fishing information by clicking Fishing.  Discover what FVTU is doing for the environment and how you can participate by clicking Habitat and click Activities to find out what we do and on Calendar to find out when we do it.

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If you are interested in our mission and activities and would like to become a member or if you are a member and want to participate in an activity click on Membership. 


Clicking on Multimedia will give you some interesting photos and videos of our activities and some great fishing and environmental information. 


Click on Resources to see our valued partners, educators, sponsors and consultant groups. 

Upcoming Activities 

Habitat Day with Rawhide

Tuesday - June 28th


Boys from Rawhide and Fox Valley TU team up to move the DRAPE closer to this years goal the Pine River


We will Start the day at 8:30 meeting at the WDNR parking just south of Davies Creek where it crosses Aniwa Road.


Please join us in the clearing an brushing operation that will extend beyond 12,000 feet from the point we started last year  at 21st Ave. 


Don't be too concerned about working hard as we will leave the hard work up to the boys from Rawhide and a few junior members of Fox Valley TU.  Joint us and enjoy Davies Creek and what we created along its bank.


Lunch will be provide at noon.  Therefor you will  have the balance of day and evening for your other committed activities which may include fishing on local steams.


See the calendar page for details.


Past Activities

Fox Valley Trout Unlimited participated with Central Wis TU in building bank covers in the Chaffee Creek under the work direction of Shawn Sullivan’s Wild Rose Habitat Crew. More than 25 people were involved in the 8:00 – Noon event, which was followed by a great lunch of homemade pork barbeque, salads and fruit. No one ever goes hungry when TU builds habitat for trout. The bank covers will stabilize the stream bank and provide shelter for trout. Many other aquatic and amphibian creatures benefit from these efforts as bank erosions is controlled. A real advantage for trout fishers how attend these work days is to know where to fish in future and also to get the latest information on trout fishing form the DNR crew – Wes, Carl, Jesse, Steve and Shawn. These fellows are truly the best there is and FVTU is proud to fund the Limited Term Employees (LTE) each year. Habitat work days occur on the third Sat of each month – check the FVTU Calendar.

It was a busy May for members of Fox Valley Trout Unlimited.


On May 14th we had our yearly Fishing Day for people with Disabilities, On May 21st. we participated in a joint habitat day with the Central Wisconsin Chapter of TU and the Donnley Chapter of TU from Chicago and then on May 31st we moved the DRAPE on the Davies another 1200 ft with the help of Rawhide and the WDNR.



Again Fox Valley Trout Unlimited teamed up with the Boys from Rawhide and their supervisors and the Wisconsin DNR to remove brush from the Davies Creek stream bank and obstructions from the water. 

It is a real treat to experience the creek with ease of walking.

It was a wonderful day for all those who experience creation at its finest and food at its best.

I hope you will be able to attend our next Davies Creek Restoration and Preservation Endeavor schedule for June 28th.

The WDNR targeted the White River for the May habitat day and 35 volunteers helped in 3 separate endeavors along the river. The four groups worked on placement of brush to narrow the stream, pumping sand from bottom of steam to previously placed Christmas trees and a path for gaining access for fishing. Members of the Fox Valley Chapter concentrated their efforts on the access path through otherwise impassible canary grass. (See photos below)


The Fox Valley TU  AAA Event (April Angling Adventure)

FVTU’s chapter building event under the organized direction of Roger Genske, Annual April Angling Adventure, was a great success in that many FVTU’ers were present; six TU Chapters were present, as was DNR and other fishers both fly fishers and spin-fishers. The Driftless Angler provided pucks of flies tailored for the weekend at a 10% discount. Great food was had by all: Bob and Mark organized the main dishes pulled pork, beans etc. Dick’s yellow tail fish and Al’s carrot cake was awesome. Many attendees brought other food items. Awards were organized and awarded by Roger, Jeff and Tamara at the evening campfire. The awardees are: Al Johnson  - the Most Trout award,  33 Browns caught on the S Br. Bad Axe on Pink Squirrels– Fishing Hat with sun shield donated by Nate. (Al got sunburned); Dan Geddes- 2nd Most Trout (18)- on black and silver spinners, S Br of Bad Axe and Big Green; awarded The Perfect Tackle box  (for our spin fisherman); Nate Ratliff- Most Variety of species and largest Brookie (11 in. on Pink Squirrel)-Billings Cr.;  VHS tape of How to Catch Trout for Beginners; Graeme Hodson- Largest Trout. 16” Brown on a Turkey Leach also on SBr of Bad Axe; Minolta Underwater Camera; Rich Mlodzik- Fisherman who went the furthest to catch trout; awarded the Zebco Fish Spotter (to find fish in WI);  12 Browns, 8-12in. and 2 Rainbow 12,13” on N Bear Creek Iowa on #16 Olive Sparkle Dun.
We all had a fun time and got better acquainted with each other; new FVTU memberships were also formed. 

The DRAPE has been extended another 2,100 Feet.

18 volunteers showed Saturday April 30th to continuing de-brushing the north bank of Davies Creek and removing obstructions from the steam and protecting banks from erosion.

The energetic and inspired group of TU members and friends raised the total operation to well above 9,400 ft.


FVTU thanks all those who participated:


Elward Engle

Rich Erickson

Norm Christnacht

Jim Jenkin

Dick Stielow

Keith Bassage

Joe Bach

Zach Klingseisen

Jim Hlaban

Todd Calder

Nate Ratliff

Bob Kinderman

Sri Smith

Mike Mauer

Jamie Rupple

Kyle Siebers

Raeme Hodson

Travis Sutton



150 + students plant Trout in Stony Brook 4/29/16

I was attempting to provide FVTU chapter members an update on the planting of the trout that were raised in the Chilton High School and Middle School classrooms  when I received a copy of an email from Trout Unlimited life member Howard Bowman.  I stopped composing and share with you excerpts from the email.......
Joe Bach

"Today, it was my turn to be a very, very proud parent and to observe something totally wonderful.  As you all know, Brad wrote a successful “Trout in the Classroom” Grant resulting in the Chilton Middle School 6th grade and some of the HS science students raising almost 200 trout to a viable size for release.  Raising these trout in the classroom involved learning about water temperature, Ph., oxygen levels, et.  With guidance, the students did all of this losing only very few of the trout in the process.  A stream with constant temperature and good flow was located through Brad’s relationship with a sixth grade student whose family farm contains a portion of Stony Creek.

The Trout were ready.  And so was Brad.  The orchestration was amazing:  Trout Unlimited Reps., Calumet County Reps, the property owner, the DNR, Chilton Teachers, school bus drivers, etc.  For the Middle School, the morning provided five learning stations—stream quality measurements, insect survey, fish survey via electro-shocking, invasive species education, etc.

And, all this time there were 84 six graders completely engaged.

Then came the release.  Who ever said kids are bored or cynical if they are skillfully organized and engaged.  Brad had coached two students who gave brief speeches about their experience and hopes for the trout.  Then (my role was in helping dip out the trout from the aquarium at the school and then, with Brad, rising them to the stream site in buckets—what fun!), each student was given a plastic cup with a trout in it to release, so all were able to participate.  I don’t think these students will soon forget all the lessons of this day—I certainly will not! 

Watching these kids REVERENTLY carrying their trout to the stream was—and this is a technical spiritual term—AWESOME.  None were tossed carelessly.  Most of the students had something to say to their fish as it was being released like “have a good life.”  (The word “awesome” is almost completely misused and overused today, but if you look it up in a dictionary of religious terms, you will find that the root has to do with being awed by something greater than ourselves.)

This is an understatement:  WELL DONE, BRAD!

Howard"


Trout in the Classroom in the School District of Chilton

In April of 2015, The School District of Chilton was awarded a grant from the Chilton Community Foundation to begin a Trout in the Classroom program.  TIC is a nationally recognized program and curriculum facilitated by Trout Unlimited that is designed to make connections from classroom learning into the natural environment.  Since February 2016, we have been maintaining two separate 55 gallon aquariums (one at the middle school and one at the high school) containing Brown Trout fry.  Students have been responsible for water quality tests, feeding, and water changes.  Through the process, students are not only learning biology but also developing environmental awareness.  Our hope and goal is that students will better understand the interconnectedness of our world and become future stewards of the special places on Earth like trout streams.


The science department, Fox Valley Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Tim Sohrweide (local landowner) are working to coordinate a trout release field trip.  We plan to continue this relationship and may also consider stream improvement at this site in the future.  We are tentatively planning to release our trout into Stony Brook near Chilton in Calumet County on April 29th 2016.  Along with the actual release, we will be doing water quality testing, micro-invertebrate samples, fly casting, and possible shock testing on Stony Brook.  We plan to continue working together with all our stakeholders in the years to come and may also incorporate stream improvement into our program at Stony Brook.


This project has been a dream and a goal that I’ve had for over a decade.  I wanted to combine two of my passions; working with students and my love for outdoor beautiful places.  I am very excited that my dream may soon be a reality!  I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the many people and organizations that are making it become possible.  Thanks to the Chilton Community foundation for the start-up funds.  Thanks to School District of Chilton Science Department (my science geek buddies), Greg Sromek, Tracy Bartels, and Brittany Mayer for taking a risk with a crazy trout bum school counselor and undertaking a huge learning curve.  Thanks to Joe Bach and Fox Valley Trout Unlimited for technical support and enthusiasm.  Thanks to Adam Nickel and Steve Fajfer of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for advice and being our liaison with the state.  Finally, thanks to Tim Sohrweide for allowing us access to the property along Stony Brook.


If you are interested in finding more about “Trout in the Classroom” and the opportunities it can provide students, Go to: www.Troutintheclassroom.org

Tom Lager (FVTU) goes to Washington as Trout Unlimited advocate for Great Lakes Restoration focusing on Fully Funding Great Lakes restoration budget at $300MM, Passing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act and Stopping Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes. As a part of an alliance of conservation organizations office meetings were held with Tammy Baldwin, Reid Ribble, Glenn Grothman and staffers for Gwen Moore, Ron Johnson, Mark Pocan, Sean Duffy and Ron Kind. Forecast of out-comes are: $300 MM in funding is likely to pass; GLRI Act is supported, but passage is unknown at this time; the Asian Carp solution is still too far away, too many studies and not enough emergency action (more no action in DC). Advocacy groups need to increase pressure on Congress and Army Corps of Engineers – more details of Asian Carp status will follow in other communications with guidance of how to become more involved.

Habitat Improvement Night - February 18th 

Shawn Sullivan presented Central Sands Region Stream Improvements for 2015. Shawn showed the kinds of stream improvement methods employed, materials used, stream locations and extent of work accomplished. Funding supporting this work was $15,000 which came from the four chapters within the Central Region, FVTU, CWTU, Shaw-paca and Hornberg and a TU Friends Grant. Our summer 2016 stream improvement schedule is being finalized and will begin in May and run through September. Watch for our schedule and come out to help us build “Trout hotels” and see where “trout live the dream”!

FVTU at NE Wisconsin Fishing Show - February 12th

Todd Yaekel and Tom Lager represented Fox Valley Trout Unlimited at the Northeast Wisconsin Fishing Show in Oshkosh. The booth space was made available to Trout Unlimited by Cabela’s of Green Bay. The Green Bay and Central Wisconsin TU Chapters also participated throughout the weekend event. This is an opportunity to educate the public on TU’s mission and recruit new members, while demonstrating how to tie flies.

Culinary Arts Night - January 28th 2016 at Fox Valley Technical College

The Fox Valley TU chapter enjoyed a very nice presentation by Chef John and several Culinary Arts program students in the Culinary Arts Theater at Fox Valley Technical College on January 28. 


The featured preparation for the evening included several versions of the campfire favorite of everyone – Puddgy Pies. After the demonstrations in the theater the members in attendance were served a meal in The Atrium sitting area that included all of the recipe options. Topping everything off was the desert of Smores made in Puddgy Pie irons. 


While we were enjoying the meal Tom Lager made several presentations to various chapter members and friends of the chapter thanking them for their ongoing support of chapter activities. This mid winter meeting with the Culinary Arts students and the chapter has been an annual affair for at least thirty years. Watch for information about the 2017 event which will be posted in Trout Talk, on the website, and on our Facebook page later this year.

Culinary Arts Night Awards


Russ and Sue Bouck

  • Long time CFD supporter - tying benches, rods, reels, a chain saw and tons of flies
  • Both Sue and Russ are main stays of TU across central Wis - they are always there helping.
  • Teaching - I always learn from Russ - soft hackles!! And Wis history of flies.
  • Sue - recently I learned she is accomplished markswomen with a shotgun - having shot in many clays, skeets etc vents - a woman of many talents

Stream Improvement Champion: Joe Bach

  • Strong advocate of our most important reason for being a TU Chapter - habitat improvement, which means keeping and protecting wild stocks of trout.

Stream Doctor of the Year: Norm Christnacht - stream monitoring

  • Over many summers Norm has been monitoring our streams and helping to attract new members to follow his example.

Community Outreach Champion: Rich Erickson - Fishing Day for People with Disabilities, Kids Fishing Day

  • Strong advocate in keeping Del’s dream alive with Fishing Day for People with Disabilities; high energy always reaching out to youth in fishing

Trout Talk Hero: Jim Jenkin - Editor of Trout Talk

  • Instrumental in keeping our main membership communication tool, Trout Talk, effective, attractive and relevant.

2011 - 2014 Cabin Fever Day Champion: Don Clouthier - Cabin Fever Day organizer

  • Guidance and drive to make CFD more profitable

Media Master: Jen Erickson - FVTU FaceBook page

  • New member, came to BOD with passion and drive developing facebook page and is current Membership Chair. A great example for Board members

Long Service Award: David Voigt - 1983 33 years

Provides aspiration to new members - steelheading, recent sharing of hunting experiences


Long Service Award: John Hammond - 1973 founding member of the chapter 43 years

Provides aspiration to new members and guidance on FVTU priorities - moving toward larger projects that attract grants


Wis State Council recognition of FVTU at the Feb 6 State TU Banquet

  • Gold Net Award - Joe Bach
  • Silver Trout Award - FVTU Chapter in particular the BOD

Cabin Fever Day - January 23rd at the Grand Meridian

Cabin Fever Day is over and it was another huge success. This success belongs to so many people that pitched in to make it happen; we couldn’t have done it without all of you.


Special thanks to our speakers, our exhibitors, and our adult and youth fly tiers. It also takes donors and sponsors and we’d like to thank them. Scott Grady, who donated another beautiful hand-made split cane rod for our rod raffle, thank you. To put an event like this on it also takes many volunteers and good guidance provided by our event team leaders, we want to thank all of you.


An event, like this, could not happen if no one showed up. We’d like to thank every person that came to Cabin Fever Day to enjoy the day, met old friends, make some new ones, and learned new things.

We hope to see all of you next year and again… watch this website for next year’s date. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our activities throughout the year.


Thank You,

Norm Christnacht

Cabin Fever Day Coordinator


Tie and Lie Night - December 17th at the Capital Centre

Fish Grew in Size and Numbers as TU members from the Wolf River, Central Wisconsin and Fox Valley Chapters and there guest gathered at the Capital Centere in Appleton to Tie Flies and Tell lies on December 17th.

The occasion was Fox Valley Trout Unlimited’s annual  “Tie and Lie Night”, when members of the trout fishing community gather for a few hours in the evening to share their year’s fishing successes and failures and knowledge in general.

Some members and guest brought fly tying tools and materials ands shared some of their creations used to increase their bragging rights. Dan Geddes brought some of his most effective spinner baits as seen in the picture below next to Tom Lager's Baillie's Black Spider.  The longer Tom spoke about the Black Spiders the more fish he caught.

Highlight of the evening was a grand tradition; a giant carrot cake, prepared by FVTU’s Al Johnson

Featured at our November 19th membership meeting:

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16,208 Brown Trout Planted in the Waupaca River

On October 22 members of Fox Valley Trout Unlimited planted 16,208 Brown Trout Fingerlings in a 10 mile stretch of the Waupaca River.  The Trout were provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


For over 20 years, the Fox Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited has assisted the Wisconsin DNR by scatter planting hatchery raised wild brown trout in the Waupaca River. These fish are descendants of the Brown Trout found in the Timber Coulee stream in Southwest Wisconsin. While they have been raised to plantable size in the hatchery, they have been raised in a manner that avoids human contact and produces extremely active and weary Trout.

Over the years the process of planting has evolved. Today we utilize floating fish boxes that were developed by Tex Helm an early and active member of the Chapter. The boxes are loaded with fish at various access points along the river and then floated with a canoe or kayak downstream and are deposited or released during the journey. Utilizing a process like this helps to improve the survival rate since the fish are not congregated at access points and thus easy prey.

The planting is conducted in October after the close of Trout Season which allows the fish to winter over and be undisturbed. Through these efforts the limited natural reproduction of the river is supplemented to produce a fishery enjoyed my many. For those of you who have had the chance to fish and catch some of the large Browns in the Waupaca River, there is a good chance you have caught one of these fish or their descendants.

The Chapter is always looking for volunteers to help with the annual Scatter Plant. If you are interested in spending a few enjoyable hours on the river and to help improve the fishery we would welcome you to join us. Please watch the web site for details as the annual October plant approaches.


A Special Thanks to John Ewen, Norm Christnacht, Jim Jenkin, Roger Genske, Tom Lager Jim Hlaban, Nancy Rosen and Joe Bach who spent the day putting trout rather than taking trout from the Waupaca river.



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Our September Habitat Day

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FVTU completes it 7th year of WAV monitoring the South Branch of the Little Wolf and Perterson Creek.


A special thank you to Norm Christnacht, Dick Stielow, Tony Garvey and Keith Bassage who have spent another summer monitoring the conditions of the South Branch of the Little Wolf and Perterson Creek where FVTU had done stream restoration work in recent years.  

Click here to find out about the WAV program


WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO HELP NEXT SUMMER WITH OUR STREAM MONITORING RESPONSIBILITIES.  IF YOU HAVE A INTEREST HELPING  AND LEARNING THE PROCEDURES PLEASE CONTACT NORM CHRISTNACHT AT NORMCHRISTNACHT@GMAIL COM OR 920 419  3303

  




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Chapter Meetings

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Fox Valley Trout Unlimited kicked off the 2015 – 2016 Chapter Meetings with a Social Hour sharing last summer’s experiences while fishing and traveling. Norm Christnacht told of an encounter with a crazed loon that ate fish that were released  while kayaking on a northern Wisconsin lake. Tony Garvey showed the striking beauty of brook trout and spring ponds. Steve Heuser related several well constructed tales of chasing, catching and releasing giant brown trout (Hex fishing) and a once in a life time musky on a fly rod. The musky picture was outstanding. Al Johnson reviewed the pleasures of the April chapter fishing outing in the Drfitless – to be repeated again this spring. Brandon Schmalz related the wonderful picture of a Cahill mayfly he took while fishing the Peterson this summer. Jim Jenkin took us on a picture tour of many good places to see and fish in the UP. Keith Bassage showed a picture on “the trout” he caught this year – his time and efforts are rightly focused on raising two of the most beautiful kids. Tom Lager closed the meeting with the Tip of the Evening - the Betty -  the favorite fly of Yoopers . These Chapter Meetings have drawn good attendance due to good subjects and the choices of dinner and beverages from the Capitol Centre bar. These meeting are open to the public and future meetings are to be found on our website and FaceBook page.

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We have closed the DRAPE for the 2015 Habitat Season
This year's  Goal has been Surpassed ... + 7,000 Feet! 

The young and old, both men and women have worked this spring and summer to enhance a trout nursery of the  Pine River.  The Davies Restoration and Preservation Endeavor (DRAPE) is moving along as planned.  The FVTU is very grateful to the boys and leaders from Rawhide and Chapter members who have worked this summer to help reach our goal.  The Goal was the debbrushing of steam bank and removing obstructions in the Davies from 21st Ave. to CR K.  We surpassed the goal and have not cleared  (downstream from CR K.  Habitat Coordinator Joe Bach stated that  we reached our goal and next year will attempt to reach on confluence of the Humphrey Creek and Pine rivers.   Please come and see what we accomplished this summer.  This fall you can enjoy viewing spawning trout.


Click Here to read about the DRAPE

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Fox Valley TU helps youth develop skills and interest in Trout Fishing.  

On June 26th Joe Bach gave two classes on fly tying at the Greenville Elementary/Middle School. The classes were part of a three week fly tying class developed and conducted by FVTU member and Greenville Middle School Teacher Sara Hans.  Students were male and female.  Sara stated that Joe's presentation was very beneficial to the students  interest in fly tying as it covered a brief history of fly fishing, the importance of entomology in selecting flies to tie,   fly tying materials, research and the development of relationship within the fly fishing community as they relate selecting flies to tie.  The class members where very proud of the "Green Soft Hackle" that Joe taught them to tie.  

The DRAPE has advance 2655 Lineal Feet

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The Annual Kid's Free Fishing Day 
June 6th , 2015

Tom Lager, Al Johnson and Joe Bach taught children how to tie a Wooly Buggers at the Annual Kid's Free Fishing Day an Jefferson Park in Menasha.  There where 125 children enjoying free fishing.  The event also included free lunch and prizes.  Bass, walleye and crappie were caught by the children.  An 18 walleye took largest fish in the children's fishing tournament.  Tom Lager took first place in the tying competition for the largest wooly bugger but was disqualified because of his advance age.

Fishing Day with People with Disabilities

May 16, 2015


The Handicapped and Disabilities Fishing Day was held at the Main Creek Farm Pond north of Shiocton on May 16. There were forty-six people in attendance with seventeen people fishing. Many of the fisher men and women caught their limit of some real nice rainbow trout that were cleaned and iced down by chapter members. Del Schwaller, who started this event thirty-seven years ago, was also in attendance. The excellent weather, great fishing, superb noon lunch, and friendly conversation made for a memorable spring day for everyone.


Fox Valley Trout Unlimited Teams up with Chilton Schools

     Fox Valley Trout Unlimited celebrated the acceptance of funding from the Chilton Area Community Foundation for implementation of TU’s Trout In Classroom (TIC) in the Chilton Middle and High schools at Hickory Hills Country Club on May 4th


     Brad Bowman Counselor for Chilton Public Schools who has worked with Joe Bach from FVTU was very pleased that equipment will now be ordered that will allow TIC to be implemented in both the Middle and High School in Chilton. Brad Bowman and Teachers Terry Bartel and Greg Stromer are so enthusiastic about TIC that they will be giving the equipment a test run during the summer months so as to insure the aquariums function properly for raising trout this fall. They have not decided what type of fish to place in the aquariums this summer. Greg loves walleye.


     At the acceptance ceremony Brad told the Foundation that in the last 20 years he has seen a real disconnect by area youth. “Trout in the classroom is just what students need to reconnect with nature” Brad said. Joe Bach told the audience “We should thank God for teachers like Brad Bowman who think outside the box and search for programs outside required curriculums that will enhance the students knowledge of our environment and all it contains.”

Click here to learn about "Trout in the Classroom". www.troutintheclassroom.org


FVTU will be monitoring Phosphorus in our Steams

Christian and Hope Canlas, who are Junior members of Fox Valley Trout Unlimited are diligentley taking notes at the WDNR Phosphorus Training in Amhurst on April 25. Their sister Grace, their grandpa Joe Bach, Tony Garvey and 10 other adults attended the training on how to obtain water samples from rivers, streams and creeks. The WDNR will be monitoring phosphorous in 190 streams throughout the state. Wisconsin is the only state in the Union  where volunteers are obtaining water samples for phosphorus analysis.


Fox Valley TU acknowledges and thanks all the Men, Women and Children who monitor what is happing to our rivers and steams through the Water Action Volunteers programs  (WAVs).  Fox Valley TU has been monitoring what is happening in our streams for the past 7 years.  A thank you to Norm, Christnacht, Dick Steilow, Tony Garvey, Joe Bach. Jim Hlaban and the Canlas children.


Our  April Angling Adventure was a success

Here are are some of the happy fishermen and what made them happy

FVTU Helps WDNR Plant 16,000 Fish

Fox Valley Trout Unlimited members, Don Clouthier and Jeff Moureau help the Wild Rose Fisheries crew plant 16,600 Coho in the Sheboygan River to stock the Lake Michigan salmon fishery.  These salmon will return to the Sheboygan in the fall of 2018-2019 as adults.

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