Wisconsin musky hunters can declare their love for their sport with a new license plate while at the same time raise funds to benefit the state’s musky fishery.
The Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin is working with the state Department of Transportation to offer a special license plate for cars and trucks that features a musky image and raises money to benefit the Alliance.
A sample of the new Wisconsin Musky Clubs Alliance license plate.
The Alliance represents 24 musky fishing clubs throughout the state. Money raised by the Alliance is used for musky stocking, research and habitat improvement. Its largest fundraiser is the National Championship Musky Open, a tournament that draws around 1,300 anglers to Eagle River, Wisconsin, each August.
Perhaps the Alliance’s greatest success story has been its work with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to reintroduce muskies in Green Bay and its tributaries. Many musky hunters now include Green Bay on their short list of waters that could produce a new world record fish.
The Alliance’s president, Larry Slagoski, feels the license plate is a natural given that the muskellunge is Wisconsin’s state fish.
Slagoski gave credit to Bob Reinert of the Hayward Lakes Chapter of Muskies Inc., for the idea. “We’ve been working on this for a couple years since Bob suggested we do it,” Slagoski said. “First, we needed to collect 500 signatures of people who may be interested in our license plate, and then we needed a concept for the design, as well as make an initial investment with the DOT.”
The new license plate will feature the image of a leaping musky painted by noted Lake Tomahawk wildlife artist Rodd Umlauf.
Someone who wants a Musky Clubs Alliance license plate needs to order it through the DOT. Besides the usual annual plate fee, there is a one-time charge of $15 for the special plate as well as an additional $25 donation, which goes to the Alliance. The $25 donation is collected annually when plates are renewed.
Alliance plates will be available for automobiles, light trucks up to 8,000 pounds, farm trucks up to 12,000 pounds, and motor homes. Personalized plates can be transferred to the Alliance plate.
The Alliance will join Trout Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as conservation organizations in Wisconsin that have special plates benefiting them.
Money raised for the Alliance will be spent on musky fishing projects throughout the state. “It has to go to the resources and where we spend it will be decided by the member clubs,” said Alliance secretary Don Gilbert. “It will be used for something everyone will benefit from.”
Tournament anglers fishing the NCMO in 2018 will see the new license plate design first-hand. Every fishermen who enters the tournament is given a T-shirt commemorating the event, and this year’s shirt will feature the license plate design.