I attended the final meeting of 2012 for the Spring Valley Walleye Club Tuesday night at the Spring Valley Boat Club. It consisted of wrapping up details for the year 2012 and also looking ahead for the upcoming year. Many people think all this club does is organize and run the walleye tournament in March. That is only the tip of the iceberg.
Barto Landing has been the recipient of a great deal of repair work and new projects. Illinois fishermen and boaters have benefitted because of their projects. The walleye tournament lasts two days, but the projects of the club has made fishing and boating a pleasure due to the improvements brought about by their ideas and work.
The permanent docks were seal-coated, oil-tar coat applied to the Barto blacktop, and building and structures were repaired and repainted. Night security lights were added to the parking area. Also very important is the dredging of the lagoon which is paid for by the club. (Currently on hold but will take place later.)
The DNR has benefitted by the tournament by receiving millions of eggs. The result of this has been the release of 16 million fry and 50,000 fingerlings into the Illinois River. This is a tremendous benefit for those of us who fish the Illinois.
Each year, they have donated $5,000 to the LaSalle fish (sauger) hatchery. It is amazing that all these things are made possible with great volunteers and terrific community support. Thank you one and all.
By the way, the club presented Cliff Banks a plaque thanking him for his hard work and leadership as president of the club. Also receiving an award for “Volunteer of the Year” was Nick Biagioni. The club thanked him for helping to make 2012 a great success.
Kind of late but we would like to help out. The club is sponsoring a walleye tournament from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, taking off from Barto Landing. This is a benefit to help Kelly Merkel, who has been diagnosed with spinal cord lymphoma. It will feature two person teams — a six fish limit — 14-inch minimum. The entry fee is $100 before Sunday, $115 on the day of tournament. Optional big fish pot is $50 per team. For more info, contact Bill Guerrini at 815-663-6141.
• Just received a report on the second firearm deer season. I thought sure we’d break 100,000, but it came in with a total of 99,324. Bureau County hunters had a harvest of 385 for the second season, with a combined total of 1,399, a little more than 100 from last year.
• Finally, mark you calendars for Jan. 26 which is the NWTF annual banquet and Feb. 10 for the 45th annual Henry Decoy Show. More info later.
Lee Wahlgren is the BCR outdoor columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org