Editor’s Pick: Fisheree Returns to McDill for 51st Annual Event
Two years of a dry pond and four years of no fishing behind them, area conservation club brings back fishing contest to annual event
By Brandi Makuski
Parkas, heavy boots and fur-lined caps will be all the rage this weekend, as the Izaak Walton Fisheree returns on Saturday for its 51st annual event.
The Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America has its clubhouse off the beaten path of Highway 66 just east of the airport, but one of its biggest fundraising events- and heaviest draws- of the year happens early each February on McDill Pond, some hundred yards or so from the Patch Street entrance to the pond.
For years the club held the annual event through all kinds of harsh winter weather, serving up beer, hamburgers and raffle tickets to hundreds of anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. The event continued even with the draw down of the pond in 2011, which was necessary to fix a leak in the McDill Dam, when event organizers showcased other events like snowshoeing, lumberjack clinics and creating makeshift sledding hills against a backdrop of polka music.
The club restocked the pond with fingerling fish when the pond was refilled in summer of 2013, but the fishing contest remained off the table to allow the fish to grow and reproduce during last year’s event, which was temporarily renamed a “jamboree”. But the fisheree returns again this year- a fishing contest which anyone can enter at no cost, along with a bean bag toss and ice bowling.
Former Stevens Point Mayor Jim Feigleson and WWII veteran Will Lehner, longtime members of the club, will serve as cooks for the day.
UWSP will again provide a lumberjack clinic, raffles for youth, adults and attendance. Raffle tickets are available onsite.
Some of the prizes this year include a Kel-Tech .22 magnum pistol, a Browning .12 gauge, cash prizes of up to $1,000, a Savage 223 rifle, a a Barnett Crossbow, a chainsaw, a GPS, gift certificates for the Wellness Spa and Bucks & Bulls Archery and various fishing and other outdoor supplies.
More than the prizes available, the event is a chance to emerge from the winter blues and reconnect with others in the community. Chances are you’ll run into several of our elected officials, area law enforcement, wardens from Dept. of Natural Resources as well as many of your neighbors.
The event will be held from noon until 4 PM. The public is encouraged to attend.