May 6, 2019 - 7:00PM Driftless Education & Visitor Center The Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) Board of Directors met at the Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center. Acting President Sue called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM. Directors in attendance were, Bob Henkel, Larry Quamme, Jerry Boardman, Sue English, John Mitchell, Joe Mazanec, John Verdon, Lisa Welsh, and Bob Seeley. Also attending Ric Zarwell, Blake Schoh, and Alex Galema. Driftless Donation – Jarrod Olson brought the kayaks, which the FOP9 provided a $5,000 donation towards purchase, to the parking lot and a group photo was taken. Jarrod thanked the directors for our participation and talked about a large group of students that already used them. Donation Request – Elynn Russell-Miller, a sophomore student at De Soto High School, and her mother, were present and discussed their fund raising efforts to support her attendance at a youth summit on the Environment in Washington, D.C. Merranda Boardman, the De Soto High School Biology teacher, had also sent a letter of recommendation to the FOP9 Board. After discussion, John V. moved to provide $750 towards her needed funding to attend the summit and to provide her with a FOP9 T-shirt. On second by Jerry, the motion was approved. Approve Minutes – 03/11/19 – On motion by John, second by Lisa, the minutes were approved. Financial Report – Larry presented the April 28, 2019 report. Income year to date is $2,213.00 and expenses $15,123.00. He noted the generous gift from Dairyland Power for $1,000. The bank balance as of that date is $43,120.82. On motion by Jerry, second by John M. the report was approved. USACOE Mississippi River Master Plan – The news release was discussed and the members feel that FOP9 as well as area people such as the Mayors and Village Presidents need to be made aware of the information and urged to provide input. It appears that the public meeting(s) have not been scheduled and Joe will watch for that to be announced and will keep the board informed. Scholarship Project Report – Bruce and Jerry were at the De Soto scholarship awards day on May 5th where scholarships were given to; civic volunteering – Jake Sikora, college – Taylor Olson, and technical school – Leah Meyer. Kee High School reported that no students applied for any of the 3 scholarships we offered. Discussion is needed on requirements at a future board meeting. River Clean-Up – The uncertainty of the river levels prevents scheduling the clean-up date. Jerry discussed the need to recover the many plastic barrels in Reno Bottoms. Dates were discussed but due to scheduling conflicts and the projected drop of the water level, it may have to be delayed until next year. The general clean-up will be reviewed at the June board meeting. Genoa Fish Hatchery Donation Project – Doug Aloisi was unable to attend for the donation presentation. He will be available to discuss the Multimedia Gallery and the presentation at a future board meeting. Elect Board President – Sue affirmed her information from the last board meeting that she could not continue as president but would continue as Vice President. She asked for nominations and then indicated that John V. had indicated he would consider finishing out the 2019 year. On motion by Jerry, second by Lisa, John V. was elected President to fill out the unexpired term to 12/31/2019. Appoint Project Leader/Members to Committees – Beach Cleaning – Blake Schoh, Bob H. Bob S., Mark Schneden, Larry, and Jerry. Brandon (USFWS) is open to clean-up of beaches and spraying of noxious weeds. Fire Rings – Kevin Quillin & Mike A’Hearn Fish Days – Bob S., Sue, Clothing Sales. Doug Aloisi will be contacted for clam display & Bob. S. will contact IDNR for fish trailer display. Winneshiek Days – De Soto – information is that it will not be held this year. MRA D – Lisa will chair and looking at 9/11/2019. She will be reviewing the program ideas. Annual Meeting – Scheduled for September 28th. (By-laws set it for 4th Saturday in September) in New Albin. Need a Chair Person. Eagle Nest Project – Jerry and Ric Zarwell and other volunteers conducted the survey. They located a total of 213 nests in Pool 9 with 161 active nests and 52 inactive. The FOP9 purchased a chip for Jerry and he mapped all nest locations. He is working with the FWS on the GPS project. FOP9 Projects – The “Fish Line” holders at boat landings with the donation from the Eastman Bible Camp Kids is in progress with Jerry and Joe working on it. Sue mentioned possible other project ideas that she had seen in Florida on a recent trip. USFWS – Larry reported on a discussion he had with the retiring director of the National Friends Academy and passed out some information regarding the Congressional Act that created Friend’s groups and the purposes. Board discussion occurred and the feelings are that the FOP9 has done quite well meeting the mission requirements and supporting the efforts of many projects in the refuge. Beach Sand – Larry shared written information from a meeting with Brandon noting that he has secured permits to complete “beach sand enrichment” on the beach at mile 664.3 on the Iowa side only. The WDNR is not open to any proposal. Joe volunteered to make contact with the USACOE regarding sand availability. Cold Springs Landing - Brandon has agreement with the USACOE to meet and discuss possible alternatives and the FOP9 will be invited. Information Release – A memo from Brandon was shared noting that the FOP9 is free to collect and survey eagle data but release of the information to others requires approval of the FWS (Brandon) for information from the national refuge and for protected species. IDOT Meeting – Blackhawk Bridge – Bryan Bradley made contact with the FOP9 wanting to come to a meeting to get information from our eagle survey. John V. will contact him as he needs to get the information from Brandon. 2019 Boat Landing Potties – We will be placing potties at the Big Slough, Winneshiek, De Soto (cost share) and Lynxville (cost share) landings. Hackett quoted $90 per month, no raise from last year. On motion by John V, second by Lisa, the quotes were approved. Clothing Donation – John M. reported that a large (100 plus people) are involved in a golf day and thought some “hole prizes” would be great advertising for FOP9. On motion by Jerry, second by Sue, T-shirts and hats were approved and will be provided. Next Meeting – The next meeting was set for June 17, 2019 at 7:00pm at the Driftless Center. During the meeting discussion occurred about the need to involve younger people to be active and consider board of director membership. The June meeting will provide some treats and refreshments and every current member is requested to invite someone to come to the meeting. Bob H., Bob S., Sue, Jerry and John V. volunteered to setup the meeting and obtain the needed items. ADJOURN – On motion by Bob S., second by Joe, the meeting adjourned at 8:55pm. Larry Quamme, Secretary
A warm September sun added to the experience of spending a day on the Mississippi River and activities at the Genoa Interpretive Center and the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center. With guidance from instructors Lisa Welsh (Kee) and Andrea Christopherson (De Soto) 66 students had an Autumn day they'll long remember. Activity centers at Black Hawk Park involved a search for macro invertebrates with small dip nets and a "throw net," and a beginner's course in canoeing on Green Lake. Both activities gave students the chance to set aside normal classroom learning strategies and get "down and dirty" with nature. Under the direction of Ross Geerdes (Allamakee County Conservation Naturalist) students captured all sorts of beetles, nymphs, flies, insects, and frogs of varying stages of development, both adult and frog pollywogs, some with appendages and some without. And they even captured a fish or two (a 12 inch bass). Canoeists soon learned (by trial and error) the importance of working together to maintain a straight course. There were no "tip-over's" during the day's activity, but wet feet were pretty common. Russ Hagen gave each group instructions on proper life jacket positioning as well as paddling techniques. However, many decided to set their own course of travel and were on a collision course with other canoeists frequently. But in the end it was a great adventure and all was well. Bob Henkel used his flat as a safety boat and accompanied all the groups onto Green Lake. Students were instructed by Orey Eckes (Genoa National Fish Hatchery) on the proper procedure for tagging Lake Sturgeon in the sturgeon building. Students implanted a 3 mm metal tag in the third scoot along the backbone of the six-inch fish. Genoa tags thousands of these fish annually for transport to northern Wisconsin and Minnesota lakes. Angela Baran Dagendash (Assistant Manager GNFH) led the groups through the new Genoa Great River Road Interpretive Center. Students were captured with the historical drama depicted at the Battle of Bad Axe (1832), as well as the many other fascinating displays at the Center. Groups convened at the shelter house at Black Hawk Park for lunch and then were transported to the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center for a full slate of afternoon activities. Activities included a bird hike led by US Fish and Wildlife, McGregor District Manager, Brandon Jones; Ross and Jarrod Olson had activities in the building where the "den of rattlers" was a popular station. And groups also spent time dangling a piece of a night crawler in the river along the walkway next to the Center. There was limited success as fish where not "taking the bait" and it was a lot of fishing but not much catching. Never the less, it was the experience that counted. Students had a super day sharing experiences with their counterparts from opposite sides of the river, and they learned a whole lot about this special area called the Mississippi River. Plans are already being made for a follow up event in 2019. All expenses for the day were paid by Friends of Pool 9, including bus transportation, canoe rental, and noon lunch. Special thanks to Lisa Welsh and Andrea Christopherson for planning the day and the school personnel in the EACS and De Soto School Districts that supported the event. Thanks to the presenters at Genoa National Fish Hatchery and Ross and Jarrod from the Allamakee County Conservation Board, thanks also to Manager Brandon Jones from US Fish & Wildlife Service. Thanks to Eric Hammer and his staff at Black Hawk Park, and all the FOP9 volunteers, led by Russ Hagen and Bob Seeley. It was a combined effort of folks from the US Army Corps at Black Hawk Park, Genoa National Fish Hatchery, McGregor District US FWS staff, Allamakee County Conservation Board, Eastern Allamakee Community Schools, De Soto Area Community Schools, and the Friends of Pool 9 organization, that made the day possible. It was a very special day of learning away from the classroom, the computer, and the cell phones. Kids will long remember their hands-on experience with nature, and their encounter with the river valley we all love and appreciate so much.
Since an annual meeting is required by their By-Laws, Friends of Pool 9 members gathered at the New Albin Community Center on Saturday, September 22. The 159 attendees were treated to a dinner of beef brisket and chicken prepared by Milty's Restaurant in Lansing; salads, veggies, and dessert completed the meal. Members arrived early for the camaraderie of the social hour, as they reminisced the years activities and events. Two rooms were rimmed with Silent Auction items, ranging from tasty foods to tackle boxes with lures and other outdoor items, as well as trips and wine packages that teased the pocketbook of everyone. Photo (1st one) caption should read: Bidders add their price and name to the bid sheets as they visit with friends during the Silent Auction during the FOP9 annual meeting, September 22, 2018. During the Business Meeting Secretary/Treasurer Quamme reported that the Friends of Pool 9 account on August 31, 2018 shows Total Income of $38,369 for the year and Total Expenses of $23,644 for the year; leaving a Checking/Savings balance of $46,622.28. Five Board members were re-elected at the meeting and the following have agreed to serve for the next three years to 2021: Sue English, Joe Mazenec, Larry Quamme, Lisa Welsh, Al Wuennecke. The FOP9 raffle was also a great success and the winning ticket for the $500 cash prize went to Deedee Drew, the $300 ticket to Al Wuennecke, and the $200 was won by Avani and Anya Quamme. Don Larsen was a winner in the FOP9 Photo Contest, as was Ron Moore President Natalie Baugher announced Emil Bronecki as the Friends of Pool 9 Volunteer of the Year (not in attendance) for his volunteerism. He has been active on the clean-ups, working at Genoa on the clam cages and the sturgeon tagging, as well as the special beach projects. John Verdon also gave a "special courage" Volunteer of the Year Award to Anne Gallagher (also not in attendance) for her service and commitment. She has been active on special projects at Genoa and became known as "Anne the riveter" while working on clam cages. She has been struggling with an illness but still finds time and energy to help FOP9. John also recognized her effort with the 100 Hour Volunteer pin. Wendy Woyczik Assistant Manager US Fish and Wildlife Service, Mc Gregor District gave Volunteer Hour pins to members that had achieved certain levels. 100 Hour to Emil Bronecki, Karen Hutson, Don Lathrop, Deb Masek; 250 Hour to Sue English, Russ Hagen, George Olson; 1000 Hour to Jerry Boardman and 2000 Hour to Ric Zarwell. Photo #2 caption should read: The following were in attendance at the meeting and received their pins: L. to R. Don Lathrop (100), Sue English (250), Jerry Boardman (1,000), Ric Zarwell (2,000), Wendy Woyczik US FWS. Some of the Live Auction items drew particular interest including a rifle from the Civil War era, a metal name plate of the FOP9 logo, a hand-sewed quilt made from FOP9 colorful t-shirts, and special taffy and pretzel treats. Larry Quamme was the auctioneer and did a masterful job of getting everyone involved in the spirit of giving. President Natalie Baugher thanked everyone for their attendance, their financial generosity, their commitment to Friends of Pool 9, and to the river itself. None of what we do would be possible without the effort of all the volunteers that give thousands of hours annually to make Pool 9 one of the best on the Upper Mississippi River. Thanks to all of you.