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

Past Activities

Free Advocacy Training - Open to All

Fellow TU’ers, I know your passion for enjoying and protecting our trout fishing. We enjoy it as much as we can and we want to protect and share what we value. Doing so, is hard at times and we struggle to find ways to do it. There is a solution for this – It is training – learn how to voice and communicate our concerns in a way that makes a difference and protects and improves our cold water resources.

It is free and comes with a free buffet lunch too.

Training is sponsored the River Alliance and Trout Unlimited Central Region Chapters:

1:00 - 4:00pm (free lunch at noon) January 7, 2017 at the Fin & Feather in Winneconne WI


Details of training: 

  • Why advocacy matters; how to be a successful advocate.
  • Best practices for calls, emails, letters and meetings with legislators on local and state level.
  • Issues briefing for Wisconsin: Groundwater, Aquaculture, land sales and other issues identified and on the Federal level: public lands and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Any questions contact Tom Lager [email protected]

September 27, 2016

Thank you Rawhide

Fox Valley Trout Unlimited would like to thank the young men from Rawhide who helped clear obstructions from Davies Creek and de-bush over 14,000  lineal feet of its stream bank. (Thats not a typo it is 14,000) This effort was part of the DRAPE that is know as the Davies creek Restoration and Preservation Endeavor.

Fox Valley TU and Rawhide have met monthly from May thru September the summer of 2016 and 2017 to complete the operation. We  started at the head waters of Davies Creek near 21st Ave and ended at the confluence of Pine River.

The purpose was to insure spawning trout are able to negotiate Davies Creek from the Pine River to their spawning grounds, and allow the sun through to enhance grass growth which will help stop stream bank erosion and at the same time provide unobstructed walking for people to enjoy the beauty of the steam.

Below are some photographs that show some of the people who participated and the effort it took to clear and remove obstruction on September 27th.

FVTU would also like thank the WDNR and members of others TU chapters who participated. 

Norm Christnacht supplied the photographs and also interviewed some brown trout who where very thankful of the clear sailing to thier spawning grounds.

August 20th

There was a lot of Energy generated and consumed building two 60 foot overhead structures on the White River at the August 20th habitat day on the White River.

Members of Fox Valley TU, Central Wisconsin TU and the Wisconsin DNR completed the structures with out rain that plagued central and NE Wisconsin all day.

Young and old, male and female participated in the venture including a wonderful lunch provided by Central Wisconsin TU.

The cost of these steam improvements was funded by the Department of Transportation as part the cost of replacing road crossing culverts that were restricting trout movement up stream.

August 3rd 

Tom Lager: represented Wisconsin Council of Trout Unlimited in making a statement to Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, Aug 3 2016; Ashland Wis regarding Proposed Run-Off and Combined Animal Feeding Operation Rule Changes (NRB Agenda Item 2, C, 1).

Content of statement delivered by Tom Lager, Secretary State Council of TU, Vice Chair Central TU Region and Pres Fox Valley TU (time of comments limited to three minutes).

Wis TU strongly supports more thorough, robust and stringent protections of Wis surface and ground waters.

Economic Benefit of Fishing:

$1.1 Billion annual economic impact in Driftless Area of SW Wis (includes some areas of adjoining states), source 2008 Northstar Group economic impact study

American Sport Fishing Association 2013:

Wis ranked 9th among all states on angler expenditures, spending $1.4 Billion

Wis ranked 3rd nationally as non-resident fishing destination and spends $440 Million and supports 21,000 jobs resulting in more than a $2 Billion economic benefit

Wis TU believes:

Stronger rules leads to: better water quality, better fishing, better youth opportunities, better tourism, better public health, better water for industry and better water for communities.

Stronger rules are needed supporting scientific study of watersheds which leads to: sustainable surface and ground water use practices and leads to less risk to all water users if water usage is sustainable

Tuesday - July 26th

Boys from Rawhide,  Fox Valley TU teamed and the WDNR teamed  up to move the DRAPE closer to this years goal of reaching the confluence of the Pine River.  

We advance another 1050 feet, totaling over 14,000 ft   with only and estimated 1000 feet or less  to complete de-brushing and removal of stream obstructions from 21st ave to the confluence of the Pine.  

It was a hot,  humid, sweaty day and the crew enjoyed a lunch provide by Roger Genske.  

Members are urged to attend the August 30th work day to celebrate reaching our Goal and advancing the DRAPE an estimated 15,000 feet.

July 14, 2016

Fox Valley TU sponsored a female youth to attend the Wis State Council TU Youth Fish Camp July 14-17, 2016

and provided adult leadership guiding fishing skill development (Jen Erickson), youth leadership guiding fishing skills (Zachery Klingseisen) and conducted an aquatic entomology class (Tom Lager) for attendees. The Fish Camp teaches both spin fishing and fly fishing methods to youth between the ages of 12 – 16; this year from across the state 20 students were sponsored by TU Chapters. Of the 20, two were females and both had a great time and are accomplished fishers. A volunteer staff of more than 25 adults helped organize and support the camp. The high level of adult participation enables 1 on 1 skill training and guidance. In addition to fishing skills topics such as fisheries management, cold water conservation, invasive species, fishing ethics on the stream, outdoor safety and other topics were presented. This camp is help annually at the Pine Lake Bible Camp near Wild rose, where over-night and meals options are provided. Fishing is conducted on a near-by lake and along the Pine River. Graduating students showing strong skill development and interest in teaching are recruited to return the following year to assist in skill instruction. FVTU will sponsor youth again in 2017 and hopefully adults will volunteer to share their skills during the camp. It is a great event and brings more youth of both genders into our chapter.

On June 28th, boys from Rawhide along with Junior and senior members of Fox Valley TU and the Central Wisconsin TU continued de-brushing banks, creating rabbitat and removing obstructions in Davies Creek. In spite of the hot weather The DRAPE was moved another 927 feet. The total distance of the endeavor is now exceeds13,000 feet. Learn more about the DRAPE;

With your help the DRAPE this year the DRAPE will be moved from CR K to the confluence of the Pine. While helping with this endeavor you will be learning about some of the finest trout fishing in the area.

On June 18th the 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!


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:

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Not Standing Still

The Degradation of Wisconsin's Waters with Elward Engle.

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