December 11th Meeting – Emily Buege (WDNR) on “Snapshot Wisconsin: Let’s Discover our Wildlife Together!”

Emily Buege is a Research Scientist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and a database manager and spatial analyst on the Snapshot Wisconsin project.  She has a B.S. in Ecology and a M.S. in Geography with an emphasis in environment and natural resources.  Emily’s thesis research involved species distribution modeling of native fish in the Bladen River, Belize.

Great Blue Heron with a turtle in its beak.
Bigfoot a.k.a. Sasquatch

Let’s discover our wildlife together!  Snapshot Wisconsin is a volunteer-based project which utilizes a statewide network of trail cameras to monitor wildlife year-round.  From coniferous forests to vast prairies volunteers host trail cameras throughout Wisconsin’s landscapes.  The photos of diverse wildlife captured on Snapshot Wisconsin cameras such as these here are hosted online where they can be classified by volunteers across the globe.  The resulting data set is used to inform WDNR management decisions and helps it learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife.  The project is also a unique opportunity for individuals, families, and students to get involved in monitoring the state’s valuable natural resources.  Additional information about Snapshot Wisconsin can be found on its webpage and you can visit this website to view and classify images captured on all the project’s trail cameras.  Please note that Emily can not divulge the remote Northern Wisconsin location where one of these pictures was taken because it would become an instant tourist attraction that would likely overrun the area.  Get ready to see some beautiful pictures of wildlife in a natural setting and to learn how you might participate in this exciting project!

This meeting is a joint Holiday Party with the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance (WSA) at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  New this year is that attendees will need to RSVP by Dec. 3rd via email to either Mike Simon at or Jerry Pasdo at with your number of dinner attendees.  The meeting begins at 5:30 with a social hour followed by a family style dinner served at 6:30.  The presentation will begin following dinner and the cost is $18 which includes the tip.  Payment needs to be made in the exact cash amount or via a check payable to WSA.  Hope to see you on Tuesday, December 11th to be educated about the WDNR’s Snapshot Wisconsin project!


Buzz McFly

November 26th Meeting – Don Wolf on “Fishing Lake Nipigon and the Lake Nipigon Region”

As we all know, Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario are collectively known as the Great Lakes but these well-known bodies of water all originate from a lesser known source.  Lake Nipigon and the Nipigon River in northwestern Ontario drain into Lake Superior making the lake and river the largest tributaries of Lake Superior.  Lake NipigonIn fact Lake Nipigon is considered by many people to be the 6th Great Lake.  With a surface area of 1,872 sq. miles, shore length of 649 miles, maximum depth of 541 feet and nearly 500 islands it’s understandable why Lake Nipigon is a great lake!  The lake is also noted for its towering cliffs and unusual green-black sand beaches composed of the fine particles of a dark green mineral known as pyroxene.  The lake basin provides an important habitat for woodland caribou too.  Don Wolf has made the 12 hour road trip from Madison to Lake Nipigon numerous times to explore and fish the lake and rivers in the area.  In addition to being a huge lake, Lake Nipigon is a very wild lake that has very few houses on it and only about a half dozen boat landings on the entire lake.  Don will share his experiences and discoveries fishing for northern pike and brook trout on the lake and steelhead on the Lake Superior tributaries in the Lake Nipigon region.  The meeting on Monday, November 26th will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

Menominee River Back 40 Mining Project Update

As you will recall, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued the Wetlands Permit in June, 2018 for the Back 40 Mining Project.  This action completely ignored the recommendation of the MDEQ’s Water Resources Division not to issue the Wetlands Permit.  Reasons for doing this haven’t really been provided to those that asked for the rationale.

Fortunately, this permit and the three other permits issued to Aquila Resources have substantial qualifications and conditions that must be satisfied before any mining activity can take place.  These permits and their conditions are being monitored to make sure they are completely satisfied before any mining activity begins.

Dick Dragiewicz from the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition provided a published article written by Al Gedicks about this proposed project.  The article provides details on the Back 40 Mining Project and its current status.  Dick can be reached by email at or by phone at 847-924-9299 if you would like additional information.


Buzz McFly

October 22nd Meeting – Lisie Kitchel (WDNR) on “Wisconsin’s Native Freshwater Mussels: A Unique Resource”

Lisie Kitchel is a Conservation Biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) working in the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation where she is an expert on Wisconsin’s native freshwater mussels.  Lisie is trained as an Aquatic Ecologist with a BS in Ecosystems Analysis and an MS in Fisheries and has over 30 years of experience working with rare and endangered aquatic species.

Did you know that Wisconsin has 52 different species of native mussels?  Well it does!  Our native mussels, or clams as they are more commonly called, are one of Wisconsin’s most diverse yet hidden treasures.  Mussels have a surprisingly complex life cycle which is dependent on fish and they have adapted amazing ways to attract these fish as hosts.  Mussels have also contributed to the history of Wisconsin from food to buttons to pearls.

Freshwater mussels surveyor at work.

Acting as filters mussels improve the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams and they are good indicators of changing environmental conditions.  Mussels are so important indicators that the WDNR has developed a Wisconsin Mussel Monitoring Program and recently completed a Freshwater Mussels Survey.  Lisie’s presentation guarantees that you will come away with a greater appreciation of these unique animals.


Buzz McFly

September 24th Meeting – Jason Randall on “Nymph Fishing Secret Weapons”

Jason Randall has been an outdoor writer for the last twelve years with feature articles appearing regularly in American Angler, as well as Fly Fisherman, Eastern Fly Fishing, Northwest Fly Fishing and many other outdoor magazines. He is a veterinarian certified in fish health and medicine. He is also a member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association and the Society for Freshwater Science.

In April, 2017, Jason’s fourth book, Nymph Masters: Fly Fishing Secrets from Expert Anglers, was released from Stackpole/ Headwaters Books. Combining secrets, tips and hints from some of the top nymph fishermen in the sport, Nymph Masters thoroughly studies all aspects of nymph fishing.

Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) recently named Jason to their National Advisory Team to develop a new and innovative nymph fishing rod. In October, 2017 the ‘Drift Rod’ was released to wide acclaim as the first truly convertible rod, changing in length from 9, 10, 11 or 12 feet. Each year, Jason appears and presents at shows and events throughout the North America.  You can find additional information about Jason Randall at his website.

We are extremely happy that Jason will again be our speaker at the Monday, September 24th monthly meeting to kick-off our 2018/2019 season of presentations.  Jason has drawn huge crowds to our Spring Opener and to last year’s September monthly meeting.  His presentation is titled “Nymph Fishing Secret Weapons” and will cover the challenges of nymph fishing particularly related to the need to keep your flies in the strike zone near the stream bottom and the use of a more sensitive strike detection method.  Jason will also discuss European nymphing techniques and why they are so effective.  This discussion will include a review of the fly rods, flies, casting and fly presentation needed to be successful with these techniques.  Some secret weapon flies for Driftless area streams will be shared and thus will no longer be secrets for those who attend this presentation.  Be assured that this presentation by Jason will be both informative and entertaining. Mark your calendars now as you don’t want to miss this meeting!  The meeting will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

Wild Parsnip

It is that time of year again to watch out for Wild Parsnip. Contact with this plant can cause burns and severe skin rashes. There is an oil on this plant that when transferred to your skin will cause issues when exposed to sunlight.

If you do contact this invasive plant, wash the area quickly and avoid sunlight on that area.

For more info from the WI DNR – Follow this link to their website

Welcome to the new website

Hello, welcome to the new website. You will notice that it is still under construction and a few things are missing yet. Feel free to browse around – punch a few buttons and try it out.

WI DNR Tick App

The WI DNR has started a new app for your smart phone to track ticks and gather information from people throughout the state. You can download this free app, take surveys and get information about ticks throughout the state. You can find more information by going to the WIDNR tick  web page or you can go to the download page for the tick app

MI Dept. of Environmental Quality issues permit to Aquila Resources

Hi Everyone,

Today the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued the wetlands permit to Aquila Resources for their Back Forty Project.  The MDEQ cover letter and the wetlands permit are attached as PDF files below.
Kathleen Heideman is preparing a press release that will express our disappointment on this disastrous decision.  Send her your comments for possible inclusion in the press release.
Her email address is:
Dick Dragiewicz

Summer Picnic – August 4th

Brian Ramsey -1August 4th will be our annual members summer picnic at Donald Park located just north of Mt. Vernon on Hwy 92. There will be food and conversation; Brian Ramsey will be there to teach, or help you improve your fly casting. So bring your favorite fly rod and improve your cast.

This post will be updated once we have more information, but typically it runs from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Normal grilled picnic food will be available.

Brian has many distance and accuracy casting awards – along with being a popular guide in the driftless area. You can check out his site at Brian Ramsey Fly Fishing and learn more about Brian and his guide service.

Summer Break

The monthly meetings are over until September. Please use all the knowledge you have gained from the great speakers/presentations and go out fishing. Better yet – Take a kid fishing.

May Meeting – Paul Ladell

Paul Ladell will be doing a presentation on his “Alaska Adventure” Join us on May 21st, 7:00 PM at “The Maple Tree” in McFarland