Tess Nelkie is presented the “Riverkeeper Award” for 2013
Periodically, the Anglers of the Au Sable will honor an individual for their tireless effort and exceptional work on Angler projects. The highest award given by the Anglers is the “Riverkeeper” award. Past winners of this award include environmental icon Rusty Gates and George Griffith, a founding member of Trout Unlimited.
In September 2013, the Anglers of the Au Sable presented the Riverkeeper award to Tess Nelkie for her outstanding work with high school students of our community and college students. Tess has been on the Angler’s Board of Directors since 1992. And for over 21 years, she has chaired the “Au Sable Words Writing Contest”, which is offered to local Michigan high school students. The students submit stories and poetry which is judged by committee with the winners being published in our quarterly magazine. The Anglers dedicate an entire issue to this writing contest in the “Riverwatch”. Tess also administers the Anglers college scholarship award project. Every year the Anglers give a $1,000.00 scholarship to students majoring in Fisheries & Wildlife at Michigan State University and Lake Superior State University. These scholarships assist students in achieving their dream of obtaining a degree and finding employment working to preserve, manage and improve Michigan’s wild places.
Anglers of the Au Sable, thank Tess for her passion and commitment to Anglers’ projects. Tess’s continuous and outstanding work with high school and college students ensures that our future stewards of the environment possess the knowledge and respect for all things natural. Congratulations Tess, you are most deserving of this prestigious award.
- Bruce M. Pregler - President of Anglers of the Au Sable
Anglers of the Au Sable on NPR - 5 November 2013
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RUSTY GATES INDUCTED INTO THE FLY FISHING HALL OF FAME
Our founding president, Rusty Gates, has been inducted into the Catskill Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.
Since 1985 there have been only 70 inductees. Among the criteria for membership in the Hall of Fame is the requirement that the inductee “must have made substantial contributions to the sport of fly fishing on a national or international basis….”
Rusty joins luminaries such as Ray Bergman, Stan Bogdan, Ernest Schwiebert (whom he once guided on the Au Sable), Gem Skues, Helen Shaw, Frederick Halford, and many other of the most significant contributors to the sport.
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ANGLERS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS STUDYING FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE
On Good Friday, March 29, 2013, Anglers of the Au Sable awarded its annual scholarship to a worthy college student studying in the field of fisheries and wildlife. This year, the Anglers of the Au Sable awarded its scholarship to Joseph Parzych a senior at Michigan State University majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife. Joe will receive his degree from MSU this spring. In the fall he is headed to Washington State University to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Sciences.
While at Michigan State University, Joe maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.95. Despite all the effort put into his studies, Joe finds time to fish on the Tittabawusee River. He is also and avid hunter pursuing small and large game. Joe’s long term goal is to become a project manager for an environmental consulting firm working on stream restoration and dam removal with a focus on restoration of salmon and trout spawning grounds. Sounds like Michigan could use a person with such skills. Anglers will continue to award scholarships. We believe in supporting the young people as they will be recreating and/or managing our watershed in the future. Yes, it was a Good Friday. Shown in the pictures is Joe receiving the award at the Kellogg Center on Michigan State’s campus. Also pictured are Joe and his proud parents Judy and Randy Paryzych. A special thank you goes out to Director Tess Nelkie who administers the awarding of the Anglers’ scholarship.
- Bruce Pregler - President
The Au Sable lost the best friend it ever had. Calvin “Rusty” Gates Jr., "Da Gator" to his legion of acquaintances, passed away on 19 December 2009. Things in this beautiful valley will never be the same.
Once in a lifetime there is someone that touches your life in so many ways. Rusty Gates was one of those people. His spirit and tenacity had an affect on everyone involved in environmental causes, from hikers to hunters to the many of us who came here to cast a fly far and fine. He was a fighter and it was the good fight that he chose to engage; catch and release on the Holy Waters, National Guard noise pollution on the North Branch, oil wells on the South Branch, and toxic chemicals on the Big Water. Da Gator led the way. A tap on the shoulder, a glance from those blue/grey eyes, a short conversation; that was usually all it took. We set to our tasks with a brio, partly from the cause, partly not to let him down.
He had all the connections and could accomplish more in a phone call than anyone else could do in six months of work. Where would we be without him these last 20 plus years?
A man of character and courage, he brought both, as well as his wry sense of humor, to his final battle. In the end, only his body gave out, Rusty’s spirit remained indomitable.
Rusty Gates has left us as a leader, but left a legacy as big as the river. The vigilance that he began will go on!
John Russell of Great Lakes Images is the official photographer for Anglers of the Au Sable. Our sincerest thanks to all that have contributed pictures. With this note we acknowledge each and every one of you and appreciate your contribution.
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