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Outdoors: Volunteer's work essential

Caption
Bob Clark with a 29-inch, 8.5-pound walleye taken from Ontario’s Lake of the Woods in Whitefish. Bay.

There are so many clubs and organizations that an outdoorsman can belong to that it can be intimidating.

Some groups, such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, etc., operate for the purpose of supporting conservation opportunities, building habitat and increasing the amount of birds, fish or animals of a specific species.

Some organizations exist for social and educational reasons, such as the many local and regional fishing clubs. Even though the organizations exist to improve the talents and success rate of its members, these clubs almost always adopt some type of charitable purpose that they assist financially or with elbow grease. They might donate money to stocking fish in a body of water or stage a clean-up effort at a public recreation site.

These clubs attain success in their efforts by the work of volunteer members. Now, some members join clubs, attend meetings and pay dues. Others do the same things, but also contribute large amounts of time and effort to insure that the club’s goals are met. The members who do this work are few in relation to the total number of members, but they are incredibly important. Bob Clark is one of those people.

Clark, a 70-year-old Woodstock resident, is the publicity director for Walleyes Unlimited. Walleyes Unlimited, with about 450 members, is one of the Midwest’s largest fishing clubs. They have two meetings a month, one in southern Wisconsin and one in northern Illinois.

Clark publicizes the tremendous WU schedule of guest speakers and is responsible for the monthly attendance. If the word doesn’t get out, no one shows up. If no one shows up, the membership starts to decline.

Clark is also a member of the Lake Geneva Fishing Club, a group that works to improve the total fishery on the legendary southern Wisconsin lake.

Of late, Clark has agreed to take responsibility for promoting the Walleyes for Tomorrow – Walworth County Chapter in Illinois. WFT is an organization dedicated to improving walleye fishing opportunities everywhere, this local chapter focusing on Geneva.

“We plan to quickly build the walleye population,” Clark said. “While Geneva can produce some quality “eyes” by trolling in the winter months, it is difficult or nearly impossible to catch any numbers of this desirable species during the legal open season. Our project should substantially increase the population with legal fish being caught as soon as three or possibly four years.”

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