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Kenosha fishermen host river clean-up to keep fish healthy

But it's not just picking up trash. Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Association also aids in keeping the lake stocked.
PIKE RIVER CLEAN-UP
Posted at 4:06 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 23:35:36-04

KENOSHA, Wis. — It's no secret that Lake Michigan is prime for the sport of fishing.

"There's brown trout, there's rainbow trout, there's king salmon, there's cohoe trout," says Lynn Davis, President of the Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Association.

What a novice angler may not realize is that to catch prize fish in the lake, you have to take care of the connection rivers.

"On the Pike River, it is a smaller river. So we can get a lot of blockages and the fish can get trapped in and not be able to make it upstream," says Travis Sindles, a conservation warden.

Unfortunately, those rivers aren't in great shape.

PIKE RIVER CLEAN-UP

"Think about it. They [fish] have to around those bedsprings, they got to go around tires, they have to go around everything that we throw into the river. Then, they are still trying to get to their spawning grounds, which is a gravelly area," says Jim Zondlak, organizer of the annual Pike River Cleanup.

Fortunately, Wisconsin's anglers have banded together to catch conservation.

"People are coming out on their own time to pick up trash and take it out of there. It's one less thing, as you just saw the gentleman who picked up a bunch of trash in less than an hour. That's how much trash we throw in our rivers," says Jim.

But it's not just picking up trash. Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Association also aids in keeping the lake stocked.

"It's amazing because we've got our rearing pond down by the lake. People like to come and watch. We get the baby fish and they are just this big, and then we release them when they are this big. But it's a healthier environment for them and then they come back to spawn," says Lynn.

PIKE RIVER CLEAN-UP

"The rearing pond was built in 1973. We are at 1.7 million fingerlings have been reared in Kenosha and dropped into Lake Michigan," says Jim.

So the next time you think of just throwing trash out the window, think again.

"One year, we found a field of like 100 empty two-quart bottles from soda. There were like 100 of them. It was like why," says Lynn.

"We want them to be healthy, we want them to be stronger, and we want them to be able to come back into the pike river," says Jim.

Even if the thought of fish doesn't reel in your heart, maybe the thought of family and friends who enjoy fishing will.

"People don't know what to do with their garbage, we'll just throw it in the river and people won't notice. Well, people do notice," says Lynn.

After all, chances are they are the ones cleaning up your mess.

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