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Why Do We Do It?

Mike Clifford

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In talking with a trusted friend the other day, the subject of burn-out came up, and the question that maybe we take it too seriously regarding "everything fishing, conservation....etc." came up.

I'd been giving it a lot of thought lately, and was looking for a tonic or anything to remind me why all of this is so important.


Figured I'd take a look back at 2007, and maybe the answer would present itself.


Figuring I would need to dig deep, with even more and bigger projects on the calendar this year, I found what I was looking for to keep the fires burning.

The ISA in a nutshell.


Preserving, Protecting, Educating and Enhancing.


Are you in the picture?

If not, can I somehow convince you to be a part of it in 2008?


To wit:


Multiple videos, scroll down to see the whole list.

Watch them all, and chime in as to your most treasured activity or reason for being an ISA member.


Which is your favorite moment from the last year or what would you like to participate in most as a new member?


Let us know where you're niche is in the group, and help me in creating something even more special for 2008.

The camera is always rolling........

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Guest rich mc

45 views and no replies. my fav times were the military day event and just a short time i spent planting willows. i also enjoyed mike norris talk at the gander meeting and the fly tyi g events io was able to go to rich

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I am too new to have a favorite day from last year but if you ask me this question next year I definitely will have one from this year. I'll say this however: I got involved in ISA because I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. I also want to teach my boys about the things that are important so that they can practice these ideals before it is too late for them to do so. We are leaving our waterways to them when we are not around and I really would like for them to be able to fish and catch fish in the same places we are today... and not just stare at polluted water and say "remember when our dad took us fishing here... not any more!"

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Guest Don R

I don't really have a favorite from last year. I enjoyed all the events that I participated in. From the good feeling of a smallie tugging on my line at an outing to the 'feel good' I got when helping with the Military Days and other events....it's all good in my opinion!


'07 was a slice of heaven and there's no doubt '08 will be great! ;)





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In the past, I liked the events like the water willow plantings and cleanups better than the fishing outings.


I'm starting to get the writing juices going again may be the biggest reason I came back at this point.


I'm still working on getting over burnout.

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My favorite has to be getting involved with the Lunker Structure building, then seeing how they were used to rebuild a stream bank. Now this year I plan on helping the DNR with their study on the effects of the structures. That may make the top of the list for next year.


What I'd really like to see, is more of the general membership getting involved in the projects that have been listed. It seems that the same faces are always at the events, with a few new people mixed in here and there. With over 500 members, my guess is that only about 10% are getting involved at best.

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What you are expressing about member participation with the "same 10% all the time" rule seems to be status quo for most non profit organizations I've belonged to. You have a dedicated group of people who always get involved and they are the same faces you continually see at events. But it doesn't have to be this way. An active outreach effort to members, which starts when they sign up and asks them what areas they are interested in, and then attempts to enlist their participation in the areas they are interested in, may help resolve some of the 10% rule. I am happy to kick this around with you further if you are interested.

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The Constant Contact and hard copy newsletters are just a couple of the ways we currently conduct outreach efforts to our members.

I recently sent every member that provided us with an email address a Member Survey as well.


341 surveys sent, 153 taken.

We are always reminding people to update their email addresses with us, but it doesn't always happen, for any number of reasons.

Eric stated many of these reasons in his post.


One thing I will say is that in the last year, we have communicated and offered means of member feedback more than at any time in the club's history.

Every member providing a home mailing address and/or email address WILL know about each and every activity the ISA is conducting.

Obviously, an email address is more immediate, because the U.S. Postal Service is beyond our control.


As for what Dan alluded to, he's right on the money with his line of thinking.

We'll be working on something unique in short order in that regard.


Speaking of uniqueness, that is what really fuels my passion within the ISA.

Creativity in solving problems that others have yet to try, or tried and failed to address.

Granted, it isn't for everybody....but the 10% that pour themselves into it are just passionate enough to make a profound difference with this line of thinking.

But again- when burnout becomes inevitable, fresh blood is imperative in order to grow, let alone maintain the same level we are currently enjoying as a club/organization.


That was the reason for my posting of this topic.

To look back at just one year in the life of the ISA, it is evident there was a ton of passion involved in many aspects of the group.


Somebody out there is going to suddenly realize they share just enough of the same passion to step into the ring, and have some creative juices flowing that need to be unleashed.


You know who you are..... as soon as you started reading this thread, the thought occured that you have something unique to share.

Emails, PM's and phone lines are always open.



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My favorite event was the massive log jam removal on the Kish. Was that last year or the year before? Watching Rich wield a chainsaw while kneeling in a jonboat was really something. check to see if he still has all his limbs.


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