WALLEYE, lots of them, and some really nice big ones, were the fish most sought after earlier this month in Ontario, Canada. A total of 19 fishermen ages 9 to 67 participated in Baker's seventh annual Iowa Connections Walleye Derby. Headquarters for the derby is Kettle Falls Lodge on the English River. All of these facilities are in northwest Ontario.
Since this was Allan Hilleman's first derby, he can be rightly proud of the big walleye that did not get away. Congratulations to him for his overall third place finish during the duration of the event. Hilleman, of Marshalltown, was joined by others from Iowa locations of Clemons, Radcliffe, Story City, Ellsworth, Stanhope, Zearing, Nevada, Ankeny, Pella, Ames, Oskaloosa and Carroll. One participant was from Geneva, Ill. To visit with Dennis Baker about possible participation in the 2013 Derby, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will ge glad to give you all the details and likely dates for next year.
Allan Hilleman, of Marshalltown, participated in his first Iowa Connections Walleye Derby held Aug. 2 through 6 at Halley’s Camps, Minaki, Ontario, Canada. Hilleman caught the biggest walleye on day one of the competition, a fish taping 27 inches long. Marshall County organizer for the Iowa Connections Walleye Derby is Dennis Baker, of St. Anthony.
KIDS FISHING DAY, held last weekend at Marshalltown's Riverside Cemetery Lake Woodmere drew about 50 participants. Kids under age 12 were welcome to come and they did just that. Prizes were made available for various classes of catch. Winner of the largest fish for the girls was Taya Kroener with her 14.18 ounce bullhead. The boy with the biggest fish was Kayden Bracy at 13.5 ounces.Smallest fish winners went to Alivia Eaton for her fish at 0.9 ounces. The boy small fish winner was Triton Buffington at 1.15 ounces.
Fishing was fun for these youngsters as every cast of a worm baited hook drew immediate bites. And most of the time the fish was well hooked so it could easily be brought to shore. moms and dads, grandparents and friends helped unhook the scrappy bullheads and rebait the hooks. Special thanks go to Kenny Selvog and Barry Hutchens, Jr. from the 4th Avenue bait shop for bringing drinking water and other supplies. Izaak Walton League members Rick Dolash, Ruth Dolash, Kelsey Dolash, Larry Runneals, Jerry Rakowicz, Ed Moore, Nancy Hookie and this scribe attended to offer help and encouragement.
Make a note on your calendar for mid-October. That is the time when RAINBOW TROUT will be stocked for the winter at Sand Lake, the Marshall County Conservation Board area east of the City. Two thousand rainbows will be released and 200 of them will be tagged. Tagged fish will be worth prizes. Iowa DNR fisheries staff have made other trout releases in past years in other central Iowa metropolitan sites. This is done only in the fall after water temperatures have cooled sufficiently as trout are cold water species. Stay tuned for more details as the time draws nearer. Details can be obtained primarily from Mike Stegmann, director of the MCCB at 752-5490.
Advance notice: Oct.13 is the date for this year's PHEASANTS FOREVER fundraiser banquet. The event will be held at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds activity building. This scribe will have more information on this great sportsman's night out as the date gets closer. In the meantime, tickets are on sale now. Contact Traci Eldridge at 2704 Binford Ave, State Center, IA 50247 to register and buy tickets. Info is also available from Steve Armstrong at 751-1668.
DUCKS UNLIMITED, the Iowa River Chapter, holds its annual trap shoot fundraising event tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 26, at the gun club grounds on the west side of the Marshalltown airport. It is not too late to bring yourself or a team for a fun day of breaking clay pidgins as they scoot across the sky from the trap houses. A practice round begins at 11 a.m. Two rounds of trap for score will take place in the afternoon. Lunch is available on site. Shotgun shells are also available for purchase on site. This late summer event is a way to add more dollars to the coffers for duck habitat projects.
The first day of the fall is not very far away. The exact date is Sept. 22. However, one week earlier, on Sept. 15 is the opening of DEER HUNTING within the city limits for bowhunters. Three previous years hunts have proven to be well received, safe, quiet and doing some good at removing doe deer. The 2012-13 season will be the fourth year of city bowhunting.
For a city like Marshalltown with the Iowa River along its north border, there will always be deer movement into and out of the city. And there are a surprising good number of deer that seem to prefer hanging out in backyards, along creek drainages, golf courses or other nooks and crannies of select habitats. Marshalltown is not alone as a good number of other Iowa cities have authorized urban doe deer hunts specifically to help hold populations of urban deer down. Hunting pressure must be maintained for the good of all.
A bowhunter who is not currently an authorized city hunter can go through the process to become eligible by first picking up a packet of information from the Park and Recreation office on State Street. To summarize, qualification starts with step one, an Iowa Hunter Safety Education course (if not already obtained). Step two: Take the online course of bowhunter education, pay the fee for the test, take the test and pass. If successful, a voucher stating you passed is printed. (The course is quite thorough and takes several dedicated hours to work through its many chapters.)
Step three: Take the voucher to a Bowhunter Education Field Day anywhere in Iowa where one is being offered. For Marshalltown area folks, the field day is Sept. 8 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Izaak Walton League grounds southeast of Marshalltown. One must register for this online at the DNR hunter safety training web site. At least twelve have registered so far. We can take more.
Step four: Complete a shooting proficiency test with an instructor. Eighty percent or better is required. Ten arrows at 20 yards and 10 arrows at 15 yards.
Step five: Take the score sheet signed by the instructor to the Parks and Rec office and pay $10 for a city urban deer hunt ID card.
Step six: The ID card allows one to purchase city limits doe deer licenses.The General Store is the only site that sells city doe deer licenses.
Step seven: Obtain written permission from private landowner(s) within the city, make a copy and provide a copy for each hunting location to Parks and Rec.
Step eight: Go bowhunting between Sept. 15 and Jan. 20.
Step nine: Report all doe deer kills to the Parks and Rec office for their record keeping in addition to the mandatory DNR reporting process.
Step ten: Enjoy great venison steaks. Or donate the deer to Iowa's HUSH program whereby the House of Compassion uses the meat for its meal preparation.
Details or questions can be answered by contacting instructors Roger Kaput, Mike West, Jerry Hopkins, Tom Murphy or Garry Brandenburg.
One year ago the Mississippi River was running very high, in fact about 56 feet above river stage in the Memphis, Tenn. area. Today, the river at this same location is flowing about 3 to as much as 8 feet below river stage. The river is a major shipping route for barges filled with grain and other products. Because of low water flows now, barge operators must take off or load light to prevent getting stuck. For every inch of water the Mississippi drops, a typical barge must be 17 tons of material lighter. They are losing money at this rate. Getting products to market by rail or truck drives up costs. Droughts come and droughts go. Next year will be different.
Garry Brandenburg is a graduate of Iowa State University with BS degree in Fish & Wildlife Biology. He is the retired director of the Marshall County Conservation Board. Contact him at PO Box 96, Albion, IA 50005.