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One of Wisconsin’s largest and most active fishing conservation organizations has made a major gift to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Foundation to establish an endowment for fisheries research.
Walleyes for Tomorrow, Inc., of Fond du Lac, Wis., created the fund with a gift of $200,000 to UWSP Foundation to support faculty-mentored undergraduate research fellowships in fisheries at UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources. Earnings generated by the endowment will be used to support at least one fellowship project each year for the foreseeable future, providing high quality, in-depth, real world learning experiences for worthy undergraduate students.
The fellowships will be administered by the college through a competitive proposal process that favors projects that have existing funding, involvement of a graduate student and direct implications for walleye management in the state. The Walleyes for Tomorrow Fisheries Research Fellowship is the first endowed student fellowship in the history of UW-Stevens Point’s fisheries program, which is among the nation’s largest with over 130 undergraduate majors, ten graduate students and faculty expertise in fish ecology, age and growth, genetics, habitat, aquatic ecology and toxicology.
“We are grateful for this incredibly generous gift from Walleyes for Tomorrow,” said Christine Thomas, dean of the College of Natural Resources. “Their members are dedicated conservationists who, by establishing this endowment, are benefitting students and faculty while helping preserve and protect our precious fisheries resources in perpetuity.”
According to Mike Arrowood, board chair for Walleyes for Tomorrow, the new fellowship at UW-Stevens Point is a great fit with the group’s mission to improve the quality of Wisconsin’s walleye and sauger fishing through habitat improvement, rearing and stocking, water quality improvements and research studies. The group was founded in 1991 and now consists of 12 chapters with more than 2,000 members located throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
“For years we have collaborated with many other clubs and agencies on various projects, including UW-Stevens Point’s Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit,” said Arrowood. “We are already familiar with the quality of the university’s fisheries program and are excited for the opportunity to strengthen this partnership and help prepare future generations of fisheries managers.”
Arrowood welcomes other like-minded individuals and groups to contribute to the fund, referring to his group’s initial gift as a “good start” toward building even more opportunities for students. Those wishing to support the endowment should make their check payable to UWSP Foundation – Walleyes for Tomorrow Endowment and mail to: UWSP Foundation, 2100 Main Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481. Gifts may also be made on-line at https://give.uwsp.edu/give-now and designating “Other Specific Fund – Walleyes for Tomorrow Endowment.”