Fresh Water Fishing Hall Of Fame 2012 Enshrinees And Inductees Announced
On August 15th and 16th, 2011 the Fresh Water Hall Of Fame Awards Committee met in Hayward, Wisconsin.
The committee consists of a very talented and devoted cross section of our fresh water sportfishing leaders. They are: Bill Gautsche – Chairman (Wisconsin); Wendy Williamson – Co-Chairman (Wisconsin); Larry Colombo (Alabama); Clem Dippel (Wisconsin); Mike Dombeck (Wisconsin); James Gammon (Indiana); Elmer Guerri (Indiana); Bruce Holt (Washington); Tim Lesmeister (Minnesota); Gil Radonski (North Carolina); Vin Sparano (New Jersey); Burt Steinberg (Missouri); Wendy Williamson (Wisconsin); Gregg Wollner (Minnesota) and Forrest Wood (Arkansas).
Many candidates were considered, but only a few were selected for this prestigious honor. The results are as follows:
Elected for 2012 Enshrinement
Considered are persons who have made a lasting National or World impact to the benefit of fresh water sportfishing.
Steve Baumann – Minnesota
Steve was born in southwestern Minnesota on a 240-acre farm community near Walnut Grove. Steve chose the path of electrical engineering. While in college, he began working for a manufacturer that built electronic components for the Vexilar Company.
At that time, Vexilar was manufacturing high-end charter-boat sonars and low-end consumer models. Paper graphs were just coming into use. Following the paper graph was the CRT display. The one Vexilar built was designed with the angler in mind.
In 1981, Steve researched LCD displays and realized this medium could be utilized for a sonar screen. Working with Vexilar engineers, they built the first LCD sonars for the weekend angler. The sportfishing world was set on fire with the Vexilar 480 LCD sonar. No longer would anglers have to interpret the signal of a flashing light on a circular axis. Now they could just look at a picture.
In 1989, Steve began to notice that ice anglers were discovering the Dave Genz method of mobile ice angling and were utilizing the flasher style sonar in their pursuit. With a background in sonar electronics, Steve began to look at what was needed to satisfy ice anglers and their sonar requirements.
In 1995, Vexilar introduced a unit which allowed anglers to fish side-by-side with new or old units without interference. The Vexilar FL-8 (and its successive models) has become iconic in the ice fishing industry. So much so, that the name Vexilar is often used interchangeably with all ice fishing sonar units.
Steve has been a pioneer in the sportfishing industry designing and advancing cutting-edge products that never existed in the marketplace until his vision made them a reality. Steve has always maintained the highest benchmark in customer service and loyalty.
Thaddeus “Ted” Dzialo – Wisconsin
Ted joined the staff of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin in March of 1986. Soon thereafter, Ted became the Hall’s Deputy Director and Museum Manager. In August 1987 Ted became the Executive Director of this historic institution.
Ted was instrumental in “fleshing out” the Hall’s museum artifacts in its burgeoning museum operation. Of course, Ted had help, but he oversaw this tremendous undertaking of identifying, restoring, cataloging and the displaying of about 100,000 sportfishing artifacts in the museum complex. Ted’s particular expertise was in the unique displaying of over 1,000 vintage outboard motors. The Hall’s museum has the largest and most complete display of fresh water sportfishing’s heritage and history in the world.
Ted has been instrumental in the promotion of fresh water sportfishing for a very long time. From March of 1988 until April of 2006 Ted was the editor of the Hall’s quarterly magazine, “The Splash.” Ted used this vehicle to champion many of fresh water sportfishing’s issues and challenges.
Ted retired from the Hall in April of 2006, but remains an integral part of the organization as a member and officer of its Executive Board of Directors.
James D. Range – Washington D.C.
Jim was one of our nation’s most prominent champions of natural resource conservation. He was known in Washington and throughout the United States as a skilled policy strategist with an extraordinary bipartisan network of friends and contacts. Along with his political adeptness, Jim possessed an oratorical gift and was known as someone who always spoke from his heart with passionate conviction. A life-long outdoorsman, Jim was instrumental in the conservation and continued protection of many different corners of the American landscape. Jim was a passionate advocate for the country’s fish and wildlife and their habitat. Perhaps best known as a long-time advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, Jim also was known personally to countless people as a beloved confidant, friend and mentor.
At the time of his death, Jim worked as senior policy advisor in the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz and served as Chairman of the Board of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, an organization he co-founded in 2002. Jim was instrumental in the founding of the Bipartisan Policy Center and worked as an advisor to that organization.
Jim was chief counsel to Senator Baker during the period between 1980 and 1984 when the senator served as Majority Leader. From 1973 to 1980, Jim served as majority counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Environment and Public Works. Jim was council to the National Commission on Water Quality in 1972.
“Jim Range was a dedicated, loyal and trusted member of my staff who helped to fashion some of this country’s most vital environmental legislation,” Senator Baker said, “Of all his efforts to promote comprehensive oversight concerning clean air and clean water, Jim was especially helpful with a project that was a particular importance to me. He was an essential part of the team that was able to come up with a unique approach that allowed the creation of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area located in Tennessee and Kentucky. Were it not for Jim Range and a few others, this idea would have never been possible. Jim and I continue working together, outside of our formal position in government, to try to influence responsible care for our country’s all important natural resources in a bipartisan spirit. I will miss Jim’s counsel, but more importantly, I will miss him.”
Jim learned his love of the outdoors in the mountains of Tennessee. He was an Eagle Scout, acting as an aquatics instructor at Camp Tom Howard, attending National Camping School and working at Philmont Scout Ranch. He attended Science Hill High School. Jim attained his undergraduate degree at Tulane University, an M.S. in fisheries biology from Tennessee Tech and obtained a J. D. from the University of Miami, School of Law.
Inducted for 2011 Legendary Angler
Considered are persons who have had at least regional lasting impact benefiting fresh water sportfishing.
Duane A. and John G. Peterson – Minnesota
Duane and John were raised in Bemidji, Minnesota, on the banks of the Mississippi River. From the day they caught their first perch on Lake Bemidji, they were hooked on fishing forever. Duane and John have been unconditionally committed to sharing their fishing compassion and skill with others. They have been recruiters, educators and fishing pioneers beginning in the 1970’s and into the 21st century. Their enthusiastic passion for fishing have been contagious in a manner that has improved and enhanced the lives of many.
In 1983, Duane and John started the Northland Fishing Tackle Company. Northland is one of the premier brands in the sportfishing tackle industry. Northland has grown to employ over 150 full time workers in Bemidji and Ranier, Minnesota. Northland’s products are shrouded by innovation and are always trend setting in nature.
Duane and John are highly committed to selective harvest and catch & release fishing, as well as the preservation of water quality. They have been lifetime leaders in helping teach our youth the values of sportfishing and exposing them to our great natural resources.
James Saric – Illinois
Jim has stood out for years as an accomplished angler, teacher, innovator and leader in the advancement of fresh water fishing. As a tournament fisherman Jim has won 7 major musky tournaments, the MWC (Midwest Walleye Classic) on the Illinois River in 1989 and placed second at the prestigious Sturgeon Bay Bass Open in 1998.
Since becoming owner and publisher of Musky Hunter Magazine in 1997, Jim has devoted much of his time promoting and educating the public on musky fishing. Jim certainly has the credentials to do so. Jim has boated more than 1800 muskies! Included in that number are 110 muskies 50 inches or larger, with his biggest being a 53 pound released fish!
Jim’s highly acclaimed “Musky Hunter” television show has won 4 Telly Awards. The Telly’s are to cable television as the Emmy’s are to broadcast television.
Jim’s first cutting edge articles appeared in Fishing Facts magazine in 1984. He soon became a field editor for Fishing Facts, as well as a regular contributor to In-Fisherman and the North American Fisherman.
Jim has promoted fresh water fishing in just about every way possible. In addition, he has demonstrated skills and developed techniques that few other anglers have matched. Jim is a tremendous ambassador for fresh water sportfishing and particularly for musky fishing.
Inducted for 2012 Legendary Artist
Considered are persons whose creations introduce, encourage or inspire the enjoyment of fresh water fishing on a local, regional or national level.
Mark A. Susinno – Washington, D.C.
Working as a fabricator of bullet-proof doors in 1985, Mark won the 1986 Maryland Trout Stamp contest and decided to concentrate on art professionally. Since then, Mark has specialized in painting underwater depictions of fresh and salt water game fish. Along the way, Mark has added twenty more fishing stamps to his list of credits. They include the 1991 First-of-State Pennsylvania Trout/Salmon Stamp and the 2005 First-of-State Texas Fresh Water Stamp.
Mark states, “I’m a fisherman and that fact affects how I approach making paintings of game fish. I enjoy suggesting the sense of light and space of the shallow-water aquatic environment, but also feel the need to present the fish themselves such that they are recognizable to the average fisherman, who is most familiar with how a fish looks when it is out of water. When painting fish (either in oils or acrylics), my main focus is on creating an interesting abstract arrangement of shapes, colors, textures and patterns, which I hope will also convey a more or less convincing impression of an underwater scene.”
Inducted for 2012 Legendary Communicator
Considered are persons who have developed a unique communication means or avenue, which was instrumental in introducing fishing to the public or in maintaining public interests or awareness.
Dan Galusha – Illinois
Through his work via seminars, the organization of special events, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, television and radio Dan has educated and informed anglers for over 30 years. While most of his work has been in the Midwest, Dan’s considerable body of work has been national in scope as well.
Dan’s promotional efforts have helped with continued trout stocking programs in the Bull Shoals, Arkansas and Davenport, Iowa areas. During a special program for troubled kids in a Davenport school, Dan was asked to take some of the kid’s fishing as a special reward at the end of the season. When he handed a stocked tackle box to one of the kids, he was asked, “Is this really mine to keep?” Dan responded, “Yes, but promise to use it for fishing and get more involved in the sport.”
Dan has been the recipient of several media awards. Most notably, Dan won the 2008 AGLOW first place award in their fishing category. Another of Dan’s significant achievements has been the production of the award winning, “The World of Virgil Ward,” which is a documentary for PBS about the life of one of fishing’s most famous legends.
As Dan always says in closing his column and shows, “Until next time, get out on the water and enjoy a great day of fishing.” Dan closing line is emblematic of his enduring efforts to promote fresh water sportfishing.
George Kramer – California
Since George’s first freelance article in 1973 (a hopeful piece on a 7-time heart attack victim, expanding his local lure business) he has been telling stories, encouraging anglers, helping youth groups and promoting sportfishing in the West. Often using himself as the foil, George’s columns in Western Outdoor News and Fishing & Hunting News are some of the most-read features in those publications. Those forums, as well as others in both print and on the Internet, have allowed George to deliver key angling advice and the encouragement of ethical behavior for many years.
George’s 1990 coffee table book, “Bass Fishing, An American Tradition,” is often quoted, for its grasp of the heartfelt, mingling in the tales of a lifetime of fishing. In 2001, combining with noted angler Don Iovino, George helped write, “Finesse Bass Fishing & The Sonar Connection.” Never one to shun a cause he felt deserving, George was the first to address the issue of the media’s role in covering the World Championship of bass fishing. He declared that the on-the-water media observers should observe, not fish, so they (media members) could not affect the outcome of the competition. George also challenged his own state’s regulations on the overt wearing of a fishing license.
In the mid-1990’s, George also unveiled his own California Top 40 Bass Anglers List, as well as inspiring a California Top Freshwater Anglers list for Western Outdoors Magazine. His Top 40 continues to appear each spring and serves as a special means to recognize or introduce competent, ethical bass anglers who reside in the Golden State.
Keith Sutton – Arkansas
Few writers have contributed more to fishing than Keith. Keith is often called “Catfish” because of his numerous catfishing stories. Keith is, indeed, the “Dean of Catfish.” Dean’s articles have graced a who’s who of outdoor magazines and newspapers over the past 30 plus years.
Keith is currently the head of the Future Fishermen of America. Keith is constantly trying to improve and expand how we teach kids to use fishing gear and not drugs.
While many other writers have focused more on “glamour” species such as bass and trout, Keith has made it his personal goal to promote fishing for lesser known yet fun-to-catch fish.
Keith’s book, “Fishing for Catfish,” was selected in 2000 as the Best Outdoor Book by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Doug Stange, executive editor of In-Fisherman magazine wrote, “While other books about catfishing have been written, none are so comprehensive in their coverage and so impressive in their illustration of this topic of concern to 10 million catfish anglers. This marks history…”
Keith is extremely proud (and rightfully so) of his proclamation that, “I am proud to say my lifelong efforts in this regard have brought about significant positive changes, not only in the catfishing arena, but in fishing as a whole.”
Inducted for 2012 Legendary Guide
Considered are persons who have gained by their expertise and professionalism, a status of credibility and immortality judged so by their customers and/or their peers.
Duane Horstman – Wisconsin
Duane moved to the Boulder Junction, Wisconsin area in 1973 and, with his family, built a successful resort and guide business.
Duane was a pioneer in the area of deep water vertical presentation. Duane willingly passed on his knowledge, techniques and discoveries to clients, fellow guides and his many friends.
When Duane began guiding, most muskies were killed, but as he often said, “We didn’t know any better.” He embraced catch and release and promoted and taught careful fish handling. Duane was also an early proponent of “quick strike” rigs when using live suckers for muskies.
Duane was well respected by his fellow guides.
Duane was a teacher, a pioneer in techniques, a friend to his many loyal clients and a man who deeply respected and cared for the resources which provided his livelihood. Duane gave back much more than he took.
Gary McFadden – Alaska
Gary was born and raised in Leelede, Idaho, but has made his home in Alaska for the past 36 years. Gary’s full-time guiding career began 23 years ago with a call from George Heim of Alaska River Adventures. George heard about Gary and set up an on-the water interview. They went fishing and Gary demonstrated his fishing prowess by handily out-fishing George. Gary was immediately hired! At that time Alaska River Adventures only had rafts, but Gary had his own boat – a 16-foot Whopper drift boat with three seats.
Gary is known far and wide as one of the best guides and anglers on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. Gary even has an island named after him on the Kenai.
Easily recognizable in his bushy beard and wearing a hat that is 36 years old, Gary epitomizes the perception of the Alaskan Guide. While he looks like he might tear you up if you don’t follow his orders, his gentle friendly demeanor and his innate ability to instruct all levels of anglers, leaves a lasting impression that this is one individual who was born to guide.
There are many guides in Alaska that are great at what they do. Then there are the legends. Gary McFadden, without a doubt, falls into that latter category.
Russell “Smity” Smith – Wisconsin
As a young adult Russ spent just about every weekend he could in northern Wisconsin. The local fishing shops started paying attention as they noted his catches and the stories about the fish he caught on his handsome lures. The lures sold well and a new business was sprouted – The Smity Bait! Very few musky tackle boxes in the northwoods of Wisconsin are absent a “Smity.”
Russ has spent his entire adult life dedicated to the promotion and teaching of sportfishing. Russ is a fixture in and around the lakes and rivers of Minocqua in northeastern Wisconsin. He is one of the area’s most sought after guides.
Russ’ favorite fish is the muskellunge, but he is equally adept at luring walleye, bass and panfish in to the boat for his clients. Russ is truly a guide for all seasons and all species.
William Wright – Wisconsin
Bill was a professional guide for most of his adult life, having moved to the Hayward, Wisconsin area in 1921. Bill plied his trade mostly on the famed Chippewa Flowage, often times in search of the elusive musky. Bill was one of the first three original officers of Guide Service, Inc. This association raised the level of professionalism for guides in northern Wisconsin to unprecedented heights.
Bill was a gentleman, a good and patient teacher and a highly knowledgeable fisherman and outdoorsman. To spend a day with him as a customer was an invariable instructive and valuable pleasure. Bill was “old school” almost always serving a shore lunch for his clients. He considered a shore lunch as an integral part of the northwoods experience.
Bill was well respected not only by his peers, but by his numerous and frequent clients. Bill averaged 150 days on the water for most of his career. That feat, in of itself, is legendary!
Inducted for2012 Organizational/Governmental Award
Considered are organizations or governmental entities, which have demonstrated and/or performed a valuable service or act to benefit fresh water sportfishing within its jurisdiction or the boundaries of its organization whether local, regional or national.
American Sportfishing Association (ASA)
The American Sportfishing Association is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. The ASA gives the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. The ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguarding and promoting the enduring economic and conservations values of sportfishing in America. The ASA also represents the interests of America’s 60 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for over one million people.
The predecessor to the ASA was the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturer’s Association (AFTMA) which was inducted (Organizational) in to the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 1988.
TRCP (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership) & Native Trout Adventures
The TRCP and their sportsmen partners travel throughout the American West in search of native trout that are dependent on sound public land management. Yellowstone cutthroats, Rio Grande cutthroats, red band rainbows – a range of species which rely on the pristine waters and top-quality habitat provided by responsibly managed land and waters. All drive the TRCP in their mission to guarantee every American a quality place to hunt and fish – now and in the future.
In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt said, “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.” While in the political arena, he succeeded in making conservation a top tier national issue. T.R. had the foresight to address these issues still so significant to sportsmen today, understanding that if we want to ensure critical habitat, special hunting grounds and secret fishing holes will be around for future generations, we must plan carefully today.
In order to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish, we strengthen laws, policies and practices affecting fish and wildlife conservation by leading partnerships that influence decision makers.
Inducted for 2012 Special Recognition Award
Recognizes individuals, groups or organizations for their programs benefiting fresh water angling which are not clearly covered by the other recognition categories.
Charles Coutant – Tennessee
After receiving his PhD in biology in 1965, Charles started his research on Columbia River biology on the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Washington. His particular research emphasis was on high temperature effects of Hanford reactor discharges on salmon and trout.
In 1971, after moving to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Charles was asked by the National Academy of Sciences to summarize the temperature requirements of fresh water aquatic life and develop temperature criteria for successful populations.
In 1989, Charles was asked to serve as a member of a scientific advisory body overseeing expenditures for salmon restoration in the Columbia River basin that were mandated by the Northwest Power Act of 1980.
Charles was the president of the American Fisheries Society from 1996 through 1997.
Carlos Fetterolf – Michigan
Armed with degrees from the University of Connecticut and Michigan State University, Carlos evaluated success on Tennessee reservoirs for management and tourism purposes.
Carlos negotiated successfully with the Corps of Engineers to stabilize water levels during bass spawning in storage reservoirs and to increase minimum flows to benefit tailwater trout. In the 1960’s, Carlos developed biological evidence of unlawful pollution which resulted in corrective actions. This made possible the excellent urban fisheries downstream of Detroit, Kalamazoo and other communities.
Carlos represented Michigan in regard to several interstate/federal issues. In retirement, Carlos remains active in fishery matters and currently chairs a Trout Unlimited effort to establish trout streams following dam removal.
His presidencies of the American Fisheries Society, the International Association for Great Lakes Research and the North American Benthological Society have provided the pulpits for spreading his mantras: “Shared Responsibility for Shared Resources” and “Poor Habitat/Poor Fishing-----Good Habitat/Good Fishing.”
Roy Heidinger – Illinois
Roy (PhD) is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.
Roy is world-recognized for his contributions to the field of fisheries and aquaculture during a career which has spanned over 40 years. Roy published much of the seminal work on largemouth bass biology and management that is cited widely today by professionals. Much of Roy’s groundbreaking work on assessing the age of fish is now commonly used in fisheries agencies and educational institutions worldwide.
Roy has trained many fisheries professionals, many of whom are now key players in the world of fisheries management. Roy has served on numerous positions within fisheries organizations, most notably being a major contributor to the leadership of the American Fisheries Society.
Roy has produced well over 100 publications on fisheries science, mostly focusing on fresh water fisheries management.
Roy retired from the SIU in 2000, but remains active in research and consulting.
As anyone who knows Roy can attest, he also is an avid and accomplished fisherman and fishes almost every day that he can. Roy is a source of considerable knowledge about fishing and has an innate knowledge about any aspect of fishing imaginable.