History of the Land O' Lakes Fish and Game Club

Welcome to the Land 0' Lakes Fish and Game Club, the oldest club of its kind in the state of Wisconsin. As a Club member, you have the opportunity to join with fellow members who participate in conservation projects, learn about our natural surroundings and work with the community of Land 0' Lakes to enhance the nature of the town and its surrounding lakes, streams and forests. You will learn as you look through the following pages, the Club and its activities are very diversified and far reaching in scope, covering many fields of interest to satisfy the adventurous, as well as, the more social interests of others. I encourage you to participate in the activities and am sure that you will enjoy the benefits that you will reap for years to come. Once again, "Welcome to the Historic Land 0' Lakes Fish & Game Club".

IN THE BEGINNING . . . .
April 1948, little could the founders envision that they were establishing the beginning of what was to become a sixty-year tradition of conservation, education and service. The previous winter had been unusually stressful on the numerous deer in the area. Individuals and groups were debating the issue of what could be done to relieve this situation in future winters. It was this controversy that prompted seventeen people with vision to meet. Those in attendance believed that the best way to tackle the problem was to form an organization that could present a united voice regarding the deer controversy. Thus, the Club was formed and officers were elected including Curt Sparks as President; Tony Hrbacek, First Vice-President; Harry Wilde, Second Vice- President; Charles Johnson, Secretary; and Larry Bent, Treasurer. An entry of the Charles Johnson's diary of Tuesday April 20, 1948 reads, "Drove at night to Land 0' Lakes Town Hall and, with 17 present, we founded the Club." He also recalled that when they were pondering a name for the Club he remarked, "We actually are a fish and game club." Gene Knuth responded, "Well then, what's wrong with calling it the Land 0' Lakes Fish and Game Club?" So, as it is said, "The rest is history", a history that has provided a greater than sixty year tradition of conservation, education and service to the community. In 1948, the formation of a fish and game club was unprecedented in Wisconsin. It proved to be an innovative step on the part of the founders. It also provided a very desirable and effective vehicle for addressing a wide-variety of problems, programs and educational opportunities for its club members, Land 0' Lakes and neighboring communities. Today the Land 0' Lakes Fish and Game Club still enjoys the distinction of being the oldest club of this type in the State of Wisconsin.

CONSERVATION PROJECTS
The records show, though sketchy at times, include dozens of service projects that addressed not only the deer population but countless other wildlife populations and projects that relate to our environment. Some of those early projects included the construction and placement of wood duck nests, bluebird houses and fish cribs. For many years, in the depth of winter, the club members distributed corn, alfalfa and birdseed each week to assist in the survival of wildlife in our area. At one point, the club members constructed pan-fishing piers and worked to analyze and prevent pollution in sport fishing waters. The Club was also involved with landscaping the area around the airport. Today, the fruits of their efforts can still be seen. Another notation indicates a project of improving the spawning grounds in Helen Creek west of town.

CONSERVATION  PLEDGE:

I give my pledge as an American to save and faithfully to defend from waste, the natural resources of my country, its soils and minerals, its forests, waters and wildlife.

PAST PRESIDENTS
1948-1949 Curt Sparks
1950-1951 Larry Bent
1951-1952 Tony Hrbacek
1952-1953 Bill Stewart
1953-1956 Richard Strut
1957 Herb Dickman
1958-1959 Ed Nagel
1960-1965 Robert Simon
1966-1973 Gus Gerhard
1974-1975 William Ceskowski
1975 Curt Sparks
1976-1977 H. Carlton Smith
1978-1979 Jerry Olk
1980-1984 Walt Hausman
1985 George Christl
1986-1987 Kathryn Hamann
1988-1989 Tug Juday
1990-1991 Jack Brandt
1992-1993 Bob Page
1994 Jim Reiels
1995 Tom Jennings
1996-1997 Ed Stover
1998-1999 Dean Paulson
2000-2001 Chuck Battin
2002-2004 Darlene Wasielewski
2005-2007 Jim Thomas