Our first organizational meeting was held at the† Hiawathaland Snowmobiler's clubhouse† in 1989. This meeting was organized by Ron Laitinen and others who were tired of paying dues to† a downstate organization that did not support our efforts to acquire fish for Lake Superior.
That organizational meeting created a group of fisherpersons that would promote the† enhancement of the† watershed and fishery in general† and would not be dedicated to any one facet of sport fishing.
Since that meeting , CUPSFA has grown to be a 200+ member fishing organization with ties to all forms of fishing enhancement within the Central Upper Peninsula.† We also have a group of members in the Munising area that have their own project meetings and raise funds for their own projects.† Our association is incorporated and is an associate member of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC).
What We Do
The association has worked on many projects including cleaning the lower Carp River of unwanted debris and working to reroute the river back into itís main channel from the Ski Hill to Lake Superior.† We were also involved in making a handicap accessible site at Mattson's Lower Harbor Park.† Our club also promotes the enhancement of opportunity for fishing and boating access.
Since inception, we have been involved with other local organizational committees.† We have attended meetings in Marquette for the development of a small boat launch at Little Presque Isle and are involved with the Deer Lake area of concern (AOC) in Ishpeming.† We have also represented the wishes of over five hundred fisherpersons living in the Upper Peninsula at the Deer Lake access meeting in Alger county.
We have worked together with the Department of Natural Resources to enhance the handicap accessible fishing† opportunities within our area. The association has worked hard to acquire funding which included substantial donations from the Kiwanis and MGH.† Our club helped to fund the handicap sites built at the Dead River and Harlow Lake, while DNR personal acquired the permits and designed and built the projects.† We† are always looking for more sites and opportunities to enhance fishing access for the physically challenged.
Over the years, we have had numerous donations in the form of money and labor. Wilderness Sports in Ishpeming worked with us to fund fish plants for Lake Angeline.† We also worked with the DNR to enhance the food base by planting smelt in Lake Angeline.† Cleveland Cliffs Inc. has also donated money and labor for club projects.
We are also very grateful to Lindberg and Sons for the donation of time and equipment to dredge the area adjacent to the handicap accessible fishing site at the Chocolay River.† This site would have probably never gotten the needed attention if someone like Lindberg and Sons hadnít come forward on this project.† The club paid for the removal of all debris. Restoration work adjacent to the affected area was done by club members.† A second dredging was done by the Army Reserves during the following year and the DNR came in and stabilized the bank after the dredging.† At that time the club laid topsoil and reseeded the area of disruption.† The club also paid for concrete pads for the stabilization. We now try to clean the area from time to time.†
We have also tried to hold a seminar for educational purposes at least once every two years for walleye fisherpersons.† We also have had one or two seminars on fly fishing and one on European style panfishing.† We hold in-house (for members only) seminars on occasion with presentations by members.††
We hold an annual fish boil/fund-raiser at the Negaunee Elks Lodge every summer during Pioneer Days.† We are grateful for the donations from Josephís Super Value, Jimís Jubilee, Buck's Restaurant and Wilderness Sports.†
We have worked with the DNR to remove unwanted species (suckers) from Teal Lake on two occasions. We have also worked with the Lake† Michigamme Landowners Association and DNR in transporting walleyes for the enhancement of Lake Michigamme. We have on an annual basis taken the lead in working with the DNR and other local organizations to bring about the free fishing weekend Kid's Fishing Day.
Our Hope for the Future
Donations of time and money from businesses, local fishing organizations, State and Federal
Departments, and fisherpersons like yourself, keep the fishery and water resources of Michigan alive for our sons and daughters and the future generations of fisherpersons. Only by working together and with everyoneís dedication,† can we hope for a future fishery in Michigan.† We view ourselves as team players in an effort to enhance fishing opportunities within the Central Upper Peninsula for the present and for the future.