by MCJ graduate
German Valley, Illinois
June 18, 2005
This museum had humble beginnings. If it wasn’t for the idea of Bob Kutz and his wife, Frannie, who developed and became managers of the project of having this museum and the Jim Beam Whiskey Distillers of Chicago and Kentucky donating profits from the collector fish decanters for several years, The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and the Museum Complex would not be around. Now this is self-sustaining, with public support. It has now three main sources it depends on: admissions, donations, and memberships.
When we went in 1986, it didn’t have a lot of items, such as all of the "Sea of Fishes" sculptures nor the recognition program, which was expanded to a separate category for "Legendary Guides." Also, it didn’t have the catch-and-release program to recognize angler’s accomplishments while practicing conservation of the resource. But in spite of this, we had a great time. We saw numerous artifacts concerning the sport of fishing, but my favorite was the musky sculpture itself. I think the artist did a wonderful job of reproducing such a likeness to the real musky with hand-sculpting.
The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame’s phone number is 715/634-4440. It is open 7 days a week from April 15 to November 1st. It is handicapped accessible. Children under 10 must go with an adult. A group of 15 or more can receive a reduced-cost schedule. The Hall visitor hours are 9:30am to 4pm. The admission for adults is $6.50, seniors ages 65-plus is $6, ages 10 to 17 is $3.25, ages 2 to 9 is $2.75, and under 2 is free.
From journal Northern Exposure in the Hayward, WI, Region