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Walleyes Unlimited Education Day Will Host Area Students


May 8, 2019

Last November, Bob Nelson, Walleye Youth Day Coordinator of the Fresno Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited, reached out to school administrators surveying their interest in attending the Fresno Chapter Walleyes Unlimited Youth Education Day. Their invitation was met with enthusiasm, as several school groups will attend the Education Day on Friday, May 10 at the Walleye Pavilion Campground at Fresno Reservoir, fourteen miles west of Havre.

Buses from Big Sandy, Box Elder, CJI, Rocky Boy, North Star, St. Jude Thaddeus, and Chinook schools will converge on the Fresno Campground at 9:30 a.m. for a day rich in information and activity. The local Walleyes Chapter has organized the day into five sessions: Boat Rides, Fish Biology, Water Safety, Fishing Basics, and Fishing Electronics. Students have been divided into five groups that will rotate between these sessions.

Representing Group Five, Chinook sixth graders will begin their day at 10:00 at Station 5: Fishing Electronics with Bob Nelson. Every thirty minutes they will rotate to another station. Past President of the Fresno Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited, Steve Chivilicek and fellow member, Ken Riska will be giving boat rides at Station 1. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Fisheries Biologist Cody Nagel and FWP Information and Education Manager Marc Kloker will educate the group on Fish Biology at Station 2. Water Safety will be the subject at Station 3, which will feature information provided by FWP Wardens Andrew Matakis and Haden Hussey; while Station 4 will offer Fishing Basics 101 by Walleyes Unlimited member Rick Harman.

At 12:30 p,m., the group will move to the Pavilion Area for a lunch provided by the Fresno Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited. After everyone is fed, student groups will be ready for bus departure by 1:30 p.m.

Meadowlark Elementary School Principal Jonathan Martin will accompany the students on the field trip, as will Secretary Melissa Evans and sixth grade teachers, Bryce Weinheimer and Janelle Downs-Deanon.

According to coordinator of the event, Nelson, "We have many people and businesses stepping forward with donations and support to make this a positive experience for the fifth and sixth grade students. If you see any of these sponsors as you mingle through life, let them know you appreciate their help."

The teachers and other chaperones will serve as group leaders as the students move through the morning. Downs-Deanon expressed excitement for the day's events, saying, "After the meal, the Club sends the kids home with a brand new fishing pole!" The fishing pole gift might entice a few of the anglers into participating in June's Youth Challenge.

In addition to Youth Education Day, the Fresno Chapter of Montana Walleyes Unlimited sponsors a fishing tournament every year in June. The "Fresno Challenge," as the tournament is known, is the first stop of the year for the Walleyes Unlimited of Montana tournament circuit. Hundreds of fishermen from around the country participate in the two-day tournament, which this year is scheduled for June 8-9.

On June 7, prior to the "big boy" Fresno Challenge, the Chapter will run its annual Youth Challenge Fun Day. In its 28th year, this free event will take place on Friday from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon for youth, ages twelve and under. A mandatory rules meeting will be held at the Walleye Campground Pavilion at 8:30 a.m. This event is part of the Chapter's education and safety program.

Individuals with questions about this or other Chapter activities are encouraged to contact Nelson or any of the walleye board members: Nate Molstad, President, cell 230-0342; Chuck Wimmer, Treasurer, cell 262-4332; Dave Anderson, Secretary, cell 265-8537; Steve Chvilicek, Past President, cell 262-3199. Nelson can be reached by phone: 406-378-2424 (home); 406-390-2695 (cell) or email:

The Fresno Chapter also built and continue to maintain fourteen boat slips, a courtesy dock for visitors, the loading dock at the main boat ramp on Fresno Reservoir, and another loading dock at Kremlin Bay. Through a generous land donation made possible by the H. Goggins Family, the Chapter-with cooperation from the Railroad Pagers Association-constructed the pavilion and camping facility located above the main beach on the southeast corner of the reservoir. These facilities are free and open to the public.


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