PEWAUKEE — The Muskellunge Club of Wisconsin hosted its 10th annual Bob Bowman Memorial Stocking on Friday morning, stocking both Lake Pewaukee and Lake Okauchie with 240 muskies.
Bob Bowman was a member of the Muskellunge Club of Wisconsin with his wife, Roxanne. When Bob died 10 years ago, Roxanne set up a Muskie storage fund with the club in his memory.
“I was kind of fragile and kind of sad, but I went to the (MCW) meeting and said, ‘I’d like to donate this in Bob’s name, for storage,'” Roxanne Bowman said. “We just hit this year, the 10th anniversary of Bob’s death, and we’ve raised over $100,000 in funds.”
Scott Wilkie, MCW president, said Roxanne and Bob Bowman were very involved in the club, and that Roxanne was a “useful” part of it.
“It helped a lot,” Wilkie said. “She worked hard with us, raised money, worked with our fundraisers and our staff.”
The fingerling muskies came from Gollon Bait & Fish Farm in Dodgeville, which stocked Lakes Pewaukee and Okauche with 240 fish. At Lake Pewaukee, four boats took the fish to spread them around the lake.
“We try to get them into the grass so they can hide and grow,” Wilkie said.
Wilkie explained that muskies need the right environment to reproduce, which is usually flowing water with a rocky or gravel bottom. This creates the need for storage in lakes.
“We supplement the population with storage,” Wilkie said. “It benefits the entire community, the county, and the state.”
Lake Pewaukee has become famous for the state’s muskie fishing. Roger Stutzman, a friend of Bowman’s and a longtime muskie fisherman, said muskie fishing on Lake Pewaukee is now comparable to fishing in the state’s northernmost lakes.
“We were heading north to fish, to the Chippewa or Eagle River, and the guides didn’t like to hear that we were from Pewaukee because we had better fishing here than we did up north,” Stutzman said.
Bowman explained that MCW played a big role in making Lake Pewaukee a good place to fish for muskie. At a recent meeting with MCW, local fishing guides said that for years they have had difficulty finding muskies; Now, in the afternoon, they can help people find two or three muskie in the lake.
“They said, ‘You guys at this club changed the way we fish here,’” Baumann said. “Pewaukee is a first-class musky lake.”
Since the fall of 2012, MCW has stocked more than $106,000 worth of fish in local waters, Wilkie said. This amounts to about 9,000 Muskies.
“These fisheries would not be what they are without stocking them,” Wilkie said. “We wouldn’t be where we are as a club without all the benefactors and sponsors who help us, and the Lake wouldn’t be what it is without clubs like us. So it all feeds into one thing after another.