Saturday, February 6, 2016




Our conservation pages are intended to provide our members with information related to conservation topics of particular interest to our members in the upper midwest.  If you are interested in contributing an article for posting on this web page, please contact our conservation chair,  Brad Eaton, at

Enjoy !              

Invasive New Zealand mud snails have been found in Wisconsin (submitted 04/27/14)

The Wisconsin DNR posted an article announcing that New Zealand mud snails were identified in Black Earth Creek in Dane County. This is the first discovery of New Zealand mud snails in a Midwest stream. They have been identified as the Clone 2 population that has been previously found only in the western states.

The WI DNR is asking anglers and others to inspect and remove mud and debris from waders or boots before leaving the access point, freeze boots or waders for 6-8 hours or completely dry gear for 5 days when possible, drain all water before leaving the access and asking anglers, hunters and trappers to consider rotating use between two pairs of waders or boots when possible.

The full details of the article can be found at:

Brad Eaton

UMC IFFF Conservation Chair


Margaret LeBien announced as Thomas Waters award recipient at 2014 Great Waters Expo

(submitted March 1st, 2014)




It is with great pleasure that we share the following news:

Margaret Riley LeBien was granted the Dr. Thomas F. Waters Stewardship award by the

Tom Helgeson’s Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo on February 22, 2014.


The award was presented in “recognition of her role as a consummate educator and ambassador for the sport of fly fishing; for her passionate commitment to conservation, and to organizations that embody the best of the Midwestern fly fishing experience; for her infectious enthusiasm; for her unrelenting good nature; for standing out as a shining light for those seeking answers to the eternal mysteries of the sport.”


Congratulations Margaret. We all benefit from your dedication to Conservation and the sport of fly fishing. 


Observations from the 2013 International Fly Fishing Fair (submitted  February 1st, 2014)


                         Boot Cleaning Stations

 I was recently in Montana for a little R&R and wader / boot cleaning stations like the one shown above were available at many of the fly shops. This is a wonderful idea, especially given the issues with whirling disease, didymo, mud snails, zebra mussels and other invasive species.

Later in this same trip, I was listening to a talk about invasive species and the speaker made an interesting point. Whether we use felt or rubber soled boots, we should inspect, clean and dry our gear when we are moving between watersheds. A rubber boot with damp mud in the cleats can also potentially transfer an invasive species. If our boots are still damp, the sole material may not be the only consideration.


This might be a type of additional protection we should consider for our local streams and lakes.


         Asian longhorn beetle        

Bob Wiltshire of the Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN) gave an interesting presentation to the IFFF Conservation Committee at the Fly Fishing Fair in West Yellowstone. The International Federation of Fly Fishers is one in a long list of partners with ISAN trying to reducing the spread of invasive species.




One of the current areas of focus is the asian longhorn beetle. This is a very easily identified beetle that is destroying the woods in certain regions. Like the emerald ash borer in our region, this invasive beetle is frequently spread to different areas by transporting firewood. - I hope that the steps we are already taking to limit the transporting of fire wood will prevent this beetle from establishing a foothold in the Upper Midwest.


The reason to post this note is related to efforts to increase awareness of this invasive species. There is an active project where they are asking fly tyers to make flies that look like asian longhorn beetles. These flies are included in packets of information that are distributed to schools and other groups that can increase the number of “scouts” looking for possible infested areas.


If you are a fly tyer and might be interested in helping this effort, please send me an e-mail at and I will forward the information that I received.


Brad Eaton

Upper Midwest Council Conservation Chair


IFFF Conservation Small Grants  (submitted  February 1st, updated February 20th, 2014)


The IFFF Conservation Committee oversees a Conservation Small Grant (CSG) Program. Each regional council can sponsor proposals for the CSG grants to support the efforts of the local clubs and chapters or members in the region. The maximum award to any region is $1500 per funding cycle and the funding must be matched by local or regional contributions or in-kind donations of time or materials. Proposals need to be reviewed by the regional council and are due in the IFFF offices by May 1 and November 1 each year.


Any IFFF member interested in submitting a proposal needs to have the paperwork submitted to the regional council at least 2-3 weeks in advance of the cycle deadline so the proposal can receive the necessary review and approvals for consideration by the IFFF. The grants need to be administered by an appropriate 501(c)(3) corporation or a government department. If the local club does not have 501(c)(3) status, the regional council can disperse the funds to pay for the defined costs associated with the project.


More information about the Conservation Small Grants program is available on the IFFF web site at:


The Upper Midwest Council has helped sponsor an active project attempting to identify genetically unique strains of native brook trout in Northern Wisconsin. We hope that the CSGs will help additional clubs and chapters make a difference in the region.


Brad Eaton

Upper Midwest Council Conservation Chair


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