As Wisconsin’s fishing season gathers steam, thousands of new anglers will be reeling in fun and taking steps to avoid accidentally spreading aquatic invasive species – thanks in large part to the work of professional angler Greg Karch.
Karch, of Oshkosh, is an angler educator, and along with other angler educators, have brought fishing education and DNR’s aquatic invasive species prevention steps and laws to more than 10,000 anglers in the past five years.
Karch was named the “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Partner in Action” for March by Wildlife Forever. The award recognizes Karch’s outstanding contributions to teaching anglers with his “Fishing Basics” seminars which include information on aquatic invasive species.
Anglers learn that the prevention steps go a long way in slowing the spread of these invasive species. In addition, Karch directs Learn 2 Fish with Us. “Greg is proof that one angler can make a difference in growing the sport and protecting it for future generations,” said Pat Conzemius, Conservation Director of Wildlife Forever.
Earlier this year, for example, Greg not only presented his Fishing Basics seminar twice at the Madison Fishing Expo, but served on a panel discussing “Angling and Invasive Species – What’s the Big Deal?”
Slowing the spread of invasive species depends on public engagement and participation to be truly effective. To that end, “Greg does such a nice job of educating anglers on the effective steps they should take against spreading invasive species and is an awesome partner,” said Bob Wakeman, DNR’s aquatic invasive species coordinator.