2 Friends Group Members Honored at Annual Appreciation Banquet












Al and Doug holding an award in their hands and Vickie and Doug hold an award. Photo: USFWS.

Two of our very special Friends were honored at our recent Volunteer and Friends Appreciation Banquet on Friday night. These two award winners provide such energy, enthusiasm and dedication to support the Fish and Wildlife Service and the hatchery and its Conservation and Environmental Education Goals. Our first recipient, Al Brinkman has been a dedicated Friend and Volunteer. He spends many hours helping us tag 1,000’s of lake sturgeon, freshwater mussels and whatever task that needs a helping hand.
He has also served as a board member and officer in our Friends Group, serving a vital role as Vice President and Co-President for the group. Al has been a Friends Group member for over a decade and is an active volunteer in the larger community of La Crosse, Wisconsin. For his continued service as a Volunteer and Valued Friend Al earns the hatchery’s Conservation Steward Award of 2022.

Vickie Walley has been an active and productive supporter of the hatchery’s conservation mission over the years by running the Friends Group Bookstore and Gift Shop since 2018. Her fantastic energy and organizational skills assisted in the acquiring of all the initial inventories, setting up computerized credit card access and inventory controls, and re-stocking necessary items when needed. She also did the accounting for the store with reports to the Friends Group quarterly. Vickie also set the staffing schedule to ensure hours were covered during opening Visitor Center hours during peak times of tourism season. Her and her husband Ron make a great team, assisting in many youth oriented programs to cultivate the next generation of conservation stewards in the La Crosse area. They do this by supporting youth outdoor events such as Youth Outdoor Fest and our Kids Fishing Days. Vickie is stepping down this year after 5 years of service and we are awarding her with the hatchery’s Meritorious Service Award for 2022. Thanks Vickie and Al! We truly can’t accomplish our Conservation Mission without your help!
By: Doug Aloisi