Walleyes were stocked in Perch Lake as a memorial to lake resident and friend Sally Pence. (Quinn photo)
IRON RIVER—With the warm weather, thoughts are turning toward open water fishing. Here’s what residents at Perch Lake did to improve the lake’s fishery as a memorial to a neighbor.
Late last October, some of the Perch Lake Owners Association friends and neighbors of Sally Pence met at the south bay of Perch Lake to remember Sally who had passed away suddenly on Aug. 13.
Sally and her husband, Bill, were some of the first residents to build a camp in the south bay. Perch Lake and its surrounding area meant a great deal to her, a real lover of the outdoors. Sally loved to fish and walleye were her favorite catch.
In looking for a way to remember their dear friend, neighbors decided to use the voluntary donation money that was collected to stock walleye in Perch Lake in her memory.
After contacting the DNR office in Crystal Falls, they began working with Jim Caron, Crystal Falls DNR office; Nick Legler, Escanaba office of DNR and George Madison of the Baraga DNR office.
The group was educated and mentored in what was necessary to obtain a permit to allow stocking fish in public waters and were guided through the process.
A DNR-approved, certified hatchery was chosen: the Watersmeet Trout Hatchery and Fish Farm, located in nearby Watersmeet.
Dino Giannola, owner of the hatchery, provided all the necessary documentation and certifications required by the DNR and helped in planning the stocking event.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, Bill Pence, Sally’s husband, friends and neighbors met at the south bay.
Watersmeet Hatchery delivered 550 six to eight inch walleye to Perch Lake. Seventy five of the 550 fish were tagged or fin clipped so that in the future, if someone caught a walleye in Perch Lake with a right fin clipped or with a red dorsal fin floating tag, they may call the DNR which keeps a record of the stocking, clipping and tagging.
By identifying the clipped fin or red tag, they will be advised that they have caught a “Sally fish,” and be given the date of the stocking event. A group of neighbors and Bill Pence went to the hatchery the day before the stocking to assist with the tagging of the fish.
The DNR and the Watersmeet Hatchery were very helpful in accomplishing the stocking and memorial.
The donations of the Perch Lake Owners Association friends and neighbors also made the Sally Pence fish stocking memorial possible.