Forestville, WI: The Wisconsin Trout Unlimited (WITU) Annual Youth Camp, a highly anticipated educational program, was held July 20-23 at the Pine Lake Camp, just south of Waupaca, WI. The annual camp helps kids (age 12-16) develop the necessary skills for fresh water trout fishing (and other species of fish) using conventional tackle and /or fly rods and reels. A major emphasis of the camp this year was conservation of freshwater aquatic resources. Sixteen participants attended the Youth Fishing Camp.
With an emphasis on fishing safety, ethics, sportsmanship, and conservation, the camp serves to directly uphold Trout Unlimited’s mission to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds so future generations of children can enjoy healthy fisheries in their home waters.
– Aquatic insects and invasive species
– Spinning gear and casting techniques
– Rigging and casting fly rods
– Field trip to a local stream with a Wisconsin DNR crew
– Electro-shocking demonstration
– Stream restoration
– Water monitoring
– Gear demonstrations (vests, packs, gadgets, supplies)
– Open fishing time on Pine Lake
– Fly tying
– Conservation presentations
– Live bait gear and techniques
– Sportsmanship & ethics
– Techniques to locate places that hold fish
– Spinning equipment, lures and strategies to catch fish
– Spin and fly casting on the water
– Casting contests
– On-stream demos and fishing with one-on-one guide/instructor
– Presentation of certificates, awards and prizes
This is the third consecutive year that the Future Angler Foundation has donated spinning rod/reel combos for the students to take with them at the end of the camp.
Wisconsin Trout Unlimited is a comprised of 21 unique chapters, located all across and covering all of Wisconsin. Each chapter is different, and each chapter operates differently. That is, in a nutshell, the nature of a volunteer organization.
Trout Unlimited is a cold water conservation organization, not a fishing club. It’s a broad, non-profit organization that includes members from both sides of the political spectrum, and everywhere in between. It includes people who like to fish, some who don’t, folks who like to work on rivers, and people who just want to work with U.S. Military Veterans or to educate children. In short, there is no “cookie cutter” Trout Unlimited member, and absolutes do not apply.
With that said, however, fishing is the common denominator. To that end, I don’t care how you fish: whether it’s with a fly rod, with a spinning rod, or with live bait. I don’t care if you keep and eat trout. I do, and I’ve done everything that I just listed heretofore from time to time throughout my life. There is no “right answer” when it comes to such things. What I do care about is our streams, their health, and their future. If you care about those things too, then there is a place for you in Trout Unlimited.
TU is a great outlet. It affords people with the chance to get involved in things which are inherently good: Like working with disabled U.S. Military Veterans, or introducing kids to the outdoors, or working on a stretch of stream to clean it up and ensure that future generations will have a place and opportunity to fish. These are things that most of us don’t get to do in our 9-5 jobs. We spend the majority of our time working for someone else, making money for someone else, and with little opportunity to help others. TU is a great outlet for many do to something which is just truly good for the simple sake of doing something good.
Henry E. Koltz
Former Chair, Wisconsin Trout Unlimited