Friday, May 25, 2018
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Matt Markey

Wetlands the big winner at upcoming DU banquet

  • Ducks-Unlimited

    Besides creating ideal habitat for waterfowl, wetlands also provide food, shelter, and habitat for many species of wildlife, protect rare or threatened plant communities, and filter nutrients and sediment from surface and ground water.

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When the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited holds its annual fund-raising banquet in about six weeks, the primary beneficiaries of that event will not be in attendance. They likely will be tucked into some good cover in a marsh somewhere along Lake Erie, unaware that hundreds of folks have gathered at the Maumee Elks Lodge for the expressed purpose of securing those precious wetlands in perpetuity.

“A lot of the money we raise goes directly into wetlands habitat, because it is so important in so many ways,” said Katelyn Spalding, a co-chairperson for the March 10 banquet. “That is the primary focus of the Ducks Unlimited mission.”

Spalding said in 2017 the Fallen Timbers Ducks Unlimited Chapter raised more than $30,000, which equates to an investment in 120 acres of habitat. Nationally, the organization has conserved more than 14 million acres of habitat across the North American continent in the past 80 years.

“We want to keep the momentum going, because those wetlands benefit not only waterfowl, but also a lot of other species of wildlife,” she said. “Those funds go into preserving, protecting, and providing wetlands that are a plus for all of our wildlife, and places that play an important role in keeping our water clean and safe for us, too.”

There are hundreds of species that rely on wetlands to meet their habitat needs, with several endangered species included in that group. Ducks Unlimited points out the U.S. has lost more than half of its historical wetlands, and each year continues to lose more than 100,000 acres of critical vegetated wetlands that are so essential to wildlife.

“I was always taught that if you hunt or fish or enjoy the outdoors and our wildlife, then it is important to give back,” Spalding said. “That is what got me involved with Ducks Unlimited. It is a way of giving back and making sure we help sustain the wildlife we have and do all we can to keep our water clean.”

The Fallen Timbers Chapter banquet will be at the Maumee Elks Lodge at 139 W. Wayne St. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and there will be live auctions and raffles along with the dinner. Early Bird pricing is $55 per person or $85 per couple, which includes membership and a choice of prime rib or chicken. Children 17 and younger have a reduced ticket price.

Reservations can be made at the Ohio Ducks Unlimited website, ducks.org/ohio, or by calling or emailing Cornelia Wagener at 419-297- 5179 or cornelbsh@sbcglobal.net. Information and reservations also are available from Tommy Dauer at 419-409-0555, or from Spalding at 567-694-2468.

SOUTH SIDE SPORTSMEN’S WILD GAME DINNER: The South Side Sportsmen’s Club will host its 12th Annual Wild Game Dinner on March 3 at the Glass City Boardwalk, located at 27820 E. Broadway St. in Moline. The dinner will feature venison, pheasant, goose, smoked salmon, smoked trout, and turtle soup. There will be a cash bar, gun raffles and door prizes, and musical entertainment by Johnny Rodriguez. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door. The money raised is used to offset the cost of releasing pheasants and leasing lands. For tickets or information, call 419-552-0823.

HENRY-WOOD BANQUET: A full house is expected March 3, when the Henry-Wood Sportsman’s Alliance conducts its annual fund-raiser at the Bavarian Haus in Deshler. Classic Catering by Kim will provide the meal, with beer and wine included in the $50 ticket price. The doors open at 4 p.m. with dinner to follow, along with a lengthy list of auctions and raffles. There will be Lake Erie fishing charters, an impressive list of guns, and a knife and tomahawk crafted by local blacksmith Butch Sheely. A limited number of tickets are available. Call Laura Carson at 419-966-2892.

GREAT NORTHERN CLUB EVENT: The Great Northern Sportsman's Club will conduct its 19th Annual Wild Game Dinner on Friday at St. Clements Hall, located at 2990 Tremainsville Road. The dinner will feature venison, elk, alligator, moose, smoked pheasant, and turtle soup, with beer and soft drinks included. There also will be gun raffles and games of chance. Doors open for the event at 5:30 p.m., and tickets cost $35. For tickets or more information, call Robb Spalding at 419-514-7258. Tickets also are available at the door.

BOATING INSTRUCTION: The Toledo Sail & Power Squadron is offering a four-session basic boating course at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Building in February, with evening classes on Feb. 13, 15, 20, and 22. Register at 419-874-8911 or nevans811@aol.com. The comprehensive “America’s Boating Course” is taught by certified instructors and covers the required safety equipment, navigation rules, aids to navigation, anchoring, knots and lines, trailers, and more. It meets Ohio and Michigan boating law requirements. Course fee is $10 per person, with the textbook priced at $30. The Port Authority is located at One Maritime Plaza on Water Street, behind WTOL-TV, with free parking in the lighted lot across the street. There will be three other basic boating classes offered by Toledo Squadron: at Monroe Community College in March, at the Perrysburg Township Fire Department in April, and another session to be at the Port Authority in March.

Contact Blade outdoors editor Matt Markey at: mmarkey@theblade.com, or 419-724-6068.

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