President Dennis Pratt called the meeting to order at 6:03 PM at Round-Up North in Brule.
Officers and Directors: Present – Ron Gaare, Bill Gobin, Paul Helbach, Courtney Johnson, Ken Lundberg, Ron Pearson, Dennis Pratt, Dennis Smet, Jeff Stollenwerk, Walt Swanson, Dean Wellman and Mike Zicus.
Minutes of the February 26th Meeting: The minutes as written in the March newsletter were approved following a motion by Bill Gobin and a second by Courtney Johnson and unanimous approval by voice vote.
Treasurer’s and Financial Secretary’s Reports: Financial Secretary Bill Gobin reported that there were two deposits: one late February for $571.00; one in March for $1957.00 into general fund. The Club had 3 new members. The Financial Secretary’s Report was approved following a motion by Dean Wellman and a second by Mike Zicus. Treasurer Jeff Stollenwerk reported that March’s beginning balance was $10,385.69, and the ending balance was $12,250.76 with the following expenses: Katie Thompson (March Newsletter) for ($200.00); March 21 Deposit Adjustment for ($85.00); Joe Scaccia (February Meeting) for ($50.00); Shannon Leef Snowmobile Club (adjustment) for ($40.00); Feb26 Trans to Savings (Scholarship Donation) for ($10.00); Feb26 Trans. to Savings (S. Shore Grade Donations) for ($85.00). Outstanding Checks and Scheduled Payments: Arrowhead Printing (February Newsletter) for ($182.93); Joe Scaccia (March meeting) for ($50.00). The Treasurer’s Report was approved following a motion by Bill Gobin and a second by Ken Lundberg and unanimous approval by voice vote.
Habitat: Ron Gaare – Appreciation for the habitat volunteers will be held at the April meeting. Ron Gaare and Ron Pearson will work with others to pick dates for the 2018 habitat project. Dennis Pratt will show a habitat video after the meeting.
Legislative: Ken Lundberg – wolf delisting was removed again this year.
Scholarship: Paul Helbach – reminder emails that the deadline is approaching have been sent out. Paul believes that applications will all come in at the last minute, he reminded those present that the process is very simple, and we have 5 weeks to go. High School Scholarship will start next year. Ron Gaare sent an email to the High School Counselor, to ask if they would administer it. Thought of displaying club awards and plaques.
Education: Dennis Smet – Dennis Smet and Dennis Pratt presented to eleven classes of students on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in sessions that ranged between 45 and 80 minutes. About 200 students attended these sessions. Carrie Edwards in Hayward is managing the aquarium there, someone from Iron River Hatchery will give the presentation in Hayward. At the end of the project the fish will be euthanized. This is the club’s 18th year for providing aquariums.
Membership: Bill Gobin – the club now has 358 members. The Information will be changed on our web site and the newsletter banner. The idea of having Honorary Members, members that have helped the club year after year was mentioned including DNR Offices and other clubs in the area. This was approved following a motion by Dean Wellman and a second by Paul Helbach and unanimous approval by voice vote.
Budget: Annual Budget Report – Ron Pearson, Jeff Stollenwerk and Bill Gobin, Ron thanked the guys, for all their hard work. Ron reported that 2017 had more revenue than expenses and recommend Mike Zicus get rewarded for his work on the Web site. Ron also mentioned that the club’s biggest expense is the newsletter and moving to an electronic newsletter has helped as printing and mailing costs have gone up. The club’s balance looks good because we have purchased many items such as hats and maps last fiscal year and in bulk thus reducing costs this year. A discussion about the history of the Scholarship came up and what it would take to continue to fund the Scholarship for the long term.
Social Media: Mike Zicus, Dennis Pratt – Social media to include the events from other clubs, including dates for the calendar. A discussion about Web site usage and how often to report the data took place, Mike would research the best way to do this. Mike brought up handling the questions received through the Web site. Dennis Pratt suggested that Mike forward these to the appropriate board member and reminded the board members to be sure to respond to the questions and CC Mike in the responses. A future topic of how we should be showcasing our past Scholarship winners including a where they are now section. Facebook has >1100 followers, and Dennis Pratt posted 10 new items last month. Re-sharing our information by the Brule River Rats Stewardship Council really increased our Facebook visits. We had 5,417 visits in one day and our best week total was over 10K.
Brule River Rats Stewardship Council and their GoFundMe page contributed $11,092 to our account for the South Shore Grade Removal Project.
Spring Clean-up – Dennis Smet – The date is set for April 28th, May 12th is the backup date.
South Shore Grade Update – Pratt – The club is continuing to raise funds to help cover the cost of removing the abandoned South Shore & Atlantic railroad grade. Donations continue to come in, view our Web site for the most current data. As of the meeting we were at $48,032 in Non-Governmental Pledges; $45,000 in DNR Funds for a total confirmed $93,032. At this time the DNR has a pending grant application for $38,000 through the National Fish Passage Program, which is sourced from GLRI. We would still need $36,968 if the grant is not received
Digital Newsletter Project Progress – Ken Lundberg and Bill Gobin have yet to pick a date to clean up the email addresses. Ken said that 58% of those receiving newsletter open it within 48 hours.
Lake Superior Fisheries Management Plan Progress – Ken Lundberg expressed the hope that the plan would keep the Splake stocking going as it seems to be working well. Plan committee looking to increase Brook trout stocking. It would be great if it would work; however, history has shown otherwise. Ken said the meeting closed before the Iron River Dam removal was discussed. He drafted a note to the committee, so it wouldn’t be dropped. Ron Pearson asked if the mention of season expansion was discussed.
Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo Discussion –Need to get to the electronic age when taking funds at these events, most of the younger people visiting the booth wanted to use methods of electronic transfer rather than cash. Dennis Pratt made a motion to investigate this. Jeff Stollenwerk to look into it.
Spring Clean-up – April 28th, meet 9am at Brule Pavilion to get assignments.
The business meeting adjourned at 7:38 PM.
Speaker – Phil Brown, Conservation Warden for Bayfield County, introduced himself and said a few words about his new position.
Recorded by Walt Swanson