The Muskellunge Club of Wisconsin (MCW) has a long history of stocking muskies in Wisconsin. In February 2012 MCW discussed plans to resurrect the club's involvement with stocking muskies. At that time, the MCW had last stocked muskies in 2005. That joint partnership stocking with the Milwaukee Chapter of Muskies Inc (MCMI) introduced 600 muskies to Okauchee Lake at a total cost of $6000. (In 2006 VHS was discovered in Wisconsin and DNR policy restricted fish stockings for a few years but that restriction has been lifted.) Our April 2012 newsletter shows the first evidence that a separate stocking fund had been established with a balance of $100. Prior to that time anytime stocking occurred, money from the club's general fund was tapped for that purpose. Establishing this separate stocking fund was an attempt to show MCW's renewed commitment to stocking muskies. The club didn't realize it at the time but this separate stocking fund eventually helped to promote donations from outside sources that would ensure those donations were dedicated to stocking muskies. By the fall of 2012, Scott Wilkie (MCW Secretary at the time) had taken the initiative and our club stocked 250 extended growth yearling muskies in 2 southeast Wisconsin lakes; 100 in Delavan Lake (MCW partnered with their lake association) and 150 in Okauchee Lake. These very healthy 17-22 inch 1 1/2 year old muskies were purchased from the Minnesota Muskie Farm (aka Oswald Fisheries) for $30 each! (A compilation of stocking photos from 2012 can be seen near the bottom of this page.)
Fast-forward 1 year to our October 2013 membership meeting when a club member suggested that we name our club's stocking fund in Bob Baumann's memory after Bob's wife, Roxanne Baumann, presented our club with a generous donation for stocking muskies in Bob's memory. (Bob had passed away in April 2013.) That same night, prior to Roxanne's donation (and per her request), in lieu of flowers, MCW moved $50 from our general fund to our stocking fund in Bob's memory. And with that, our MCW stocking fund was officially named the Bob Baumann Memorial Stocking Fund.
In early 2016 we establish a "Donate" button on our website which was very successful for raise stocking donations for the very big April 2016 yearling stocking project we did on Okauchee Lake in partnership with the Milwaukee Chapter of Muskies Inc and Waukesha County who supplied us with grant funding. In addition, donations to the Bob Baumann Memorial Stocking Fund can be mailed to our club's P.O. Box which is found on our Club Information page. The MCW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so any donations made are tax deductible and a receipt (with our club tax ID) for each donation will be sent to anyone who donates. To date, we have received many donations - big and small - which are dedicated to the propagation of muskies in Wisconsin. Any questions can be directed to our email address which can be found at the bottom of this page. Thanks in advance for considering a donation to our Bob Baumann Memorial Stocking Fund.
Less than a year after officially naming it, the Bob Baumann Memorial Stocking Fund was used for the first time on September 22, 2014 when 387 muskies were stocked in Lac La Belle. (MCW and MCMI teamed together that year to accomplish the first ever direct stocking of muskies into Lac La Belle. Those muskies were purchased from Gollon Bait and Fish Farm at a cost of $10.50 each. MCW and MCMI each contributed $2000 toward that stocking.) An article about that stocking event can be found in our October 2014 MCW Release newsletter. You'll find another awesome reflection article written by Bob's wife, Roxanne Baumann, after our 2015 fall stocking on Lac La Belle and Pewaukee Lake in our October 2015 MCW Release newsletter.
For those who never met Bob Baumann, his friends had many wonderful ways of describing him. In their words, Bob was fun, crazy, adventurous, funny, always smiling, and the loyal friend you always wanted. Bob loved people; and he hated funerals; most of all because it made him incredibly sad to lose good friends.
Bob was, above all, just an ordinary guy who had an extraordinary impact on others. He believed life was meant to be lived and enjoyed. The best way to remember him is to honor what he loved and do things he enjoyed; and to live life. “Life is for the living. There’s a new adventure around each corner. Get out there!” he would always say.
The MCW was so important to him because he loved being out in God’s creation; and enjoying nature. He was renewed by nature; but more important; he loved being with the people in this club who enjoyed these things as well. He loved catching a muskie and then releasing it back into the water for someone else to enjoy.
Bob Baumann loved the north woods; watching eagles fly, hearing the loons, and enjoying the sunsets.
About a year after Bob passed away, Bob’s wife, Roxanne, shared the following with us about their relationship. She said that the topic of muskies came up the day she and Bob met back in 1977. “He had just returned from his parent’s cabin on Plummer Lake, west of Woodruff in Vilas County. He told me he had been fishing for walleyes and muskie. I said ‘Muskies….wow, my Dad has fished his entire life and never caught one. Have you seen one?’ Bob went on to tell me he could show me muskies in the clear, spring waters of Plummer Lake anytime; just sunning themselves in the summer. Big 35-45” fish! I was interested. He then told me he had a 40” tiger muskie mounted on his wall, caught in the summer of 1969 on Plummer Lake. Now, most of you guys probably had some favorite lines to win over young ladies. Something like the old ‘come up and see my etchings’ line. After a few dates, Bob suggested I ‘come up to his apartment to see his muskie.’ Well, it didn’t work at first, but eventually it did work! ‘Maurice Muskellunge’ now proudly hangs in our home. The first time Bob took me to Plummer Lake, I not only saw muskies, but I caught a small 28” one. In 2007, when we got back into fishing; he wanted to try Lac Vieux Desert; the lake the world record tiger muskie came out of. The first night we fished, I boated a muskie on Lac Vieux Desert. The next night, Bob had one!”
"Bob and I were soul mates. There was no place either of us would rather be than with each other. He inspired me to reach for the stars and follow all my dreams. He knew me and accepted and believed in me before anyone else did; or when no one else would. I did the same for him. Together, we completed each other; and had something so special it was apparent to even our casual friends. There is no doubt; God has been holding me solidly in his care this tough year. Yes, I did take the boat up to North Twin last summer by myself for a week of fishing. I drove it for the first time on the east bay of North Twin, just putting around like a pontoon boat. A huge eagle flew over me; and I felt Bob’s presence saying, 'Rox, my boat has never gone this slow; just open it up!' The next thing I knew I was running 45 mph on the water; feeling strong and not turning back!"
"Catching a legal muskie is on my bucket list and in my plan to honor Bob’s memory. Bob would be so honored and humbled to have this stocking fund named after him; and so pleased his love of fishing will live on through these incredible creatures that others can catch, release, and enjoy. Thanks to all of you for this honor and your support. I’m looking forward to our stocking event this year." --Roxanne Baumann
We unveiled the Bob Baumann photo collection tribute (see above) at our March 2014 MCW Annual Awards Banquet. Right after that, Roxanne compiled and shared the following list of things Bob's friends said about him.
“Warm, friendly, and so darn funny. He was always smiling and ready to make me smile & laugh when situations got tense.” Kathy Lembke
“Likable, fun-loving, and always up for a good time. He always made everyone feel welcome, no matter where you were. And a great salesman…after all, he sold us not one, but 2 motorcycles within a 6 month period!” Laura Bergner
“Kind, caring and considerate; always willing to help a person out, easy going and thoughtful. A great friend and a pleasure to be with.” Tom Pienka
“When you would see Bob, he always had a smile for you. And always looking for adventure and fun times. Chris Schwager
“A guy who loved his wife and life! A man who loved his faith and his family! A guy you could sit down to talk to; who you might never have met before; and you immediately felt at ease with him; and he would have you laughing within 5 minutes.” Holly Salzman
“When I think of Bob, I think of someone who was very witty, a fun sense of humor; and just the kind of person you wanted to be around and have for a friend. I will NEVER, NEVER forget the video of the cole slaw wrestling and your trip to Daytona Bike Week in Florida. I hear Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” and I think of you and Bob and that video. I am glad we knew him; and that you both came out to Portland to see us. Special times in our lives. God Bless” Rick & Paula Vogel
“Words describing Bob: kind, humble, funny, faithful, loving, caring. He was proud of his family and grateful for friends and his good life. He seemed amazed at his good fortune: a beautiful and loving wife, a hobby they both loved, kids, and grandkids, good friends, and travels. He shouldn’t have been surprised at all he had. Bob was a good man.” Margaret Bussone.
“It didn’t take me long to come up with words to describe Bob. To me, he was the kind of guy that when you first met him, it felt like you’d been friends a long time. He was real; inside and out; and was easy to talk with. In reality, I hadn’t known Bob that long when he put me in touch with a deal on a Harley; a very generous act indeed. So…add generous to the list.” Phil Taylor
“I always thought of Bob as a true gentlemen. He always made others feel comfortable around him!” Greg Taylor
“A very, very nice man.” Dennis Hesiak
“Bob was a good listener, and he just made people feel comfortable.” Chris and Felix Tolaney
“Well for me to sum it up, Bob was a friend all would hope to have, the kind that would share his blender!!” - Jay Kamys
“Bob was a friend to everyone and fun to be around. Always looked for the best in everyone. Just glad to have known him and to have been able to be a friend.” Rick Simons
“Bob was someone who loved life and was always looking for the next adventure. He cherished spending time with his wife and family. He was always happy to help others when needed.” Mark Kurkowski
“I guess his smile is what I actually remember the most. If he was not involved in creating some practical joke on one of your poor neighbors, he found something else to amuse himself. I don’t remember Bob without a smile. What a positive influence for all. God Bless the memories of Bob.” Ed Moline
“Bob has always been interested in anything mechanical: cars, boats, motorcycles, whatever. The more power, the better. He was always positive in attitude and pleasant to be around even when dealing with the pain of cancer. You don’t find a lot of people like that.” Ron Feurer
“Happy with a lot of energy.” Brian McKay
“Kind, Fun, and Loving. Bob always went out of his way to make everyone feel welcome and a part of what was going on. With that, he always had a joke, a drink in mind, and/or a crazy story to tell. Bob was a very unique man, and he married a very unique woman. You guys always made us feel welcomed and loved. I think that was a natural thing for you both to do.” Evi Keehan
“He was one of a kind: Big-hearted, great smile, awesome sense of humor, kind, generous, intelligent, fun to hang out with. To put it in a nutshell, Priceless!” Lonna Gawryleski
“Bob was a one-of-a-kind guy. I wish so much there were more people in the world like him. He had a zest and energy for life that permeated in everything he did. He was compassionate, and always really cared about his friends. I know he made us both feel special. He was the kind of guy who could mingle with any kind of person, regardless of their walk in life (he would be comfortable with janitors to kings!!). He also lived life to the fullest, even with some of his limitations in the last few years. But—what I liked most about Bob – was that he saw the best in people, and brought out their best. I loved him dearly, and both Tom and I miss him every single day.” Tom and Betty Arndt
“Describe Bob to people who never met him…..this is so easy, yet difficult. Meeting Bob was like meeting a friend you didn’t know existed. He always had a story or interest to share that anyone could identify with.” Lisa Hatteberg
“Sweet, gentle, compassionate….just a sweetheart!!!” Sherry Sullivan
“He was fabulously funny, fun-loving, fantastic fishing fellow and friend!” Donna Anderson
“Bob has many great qualities. He always had a smile and a sense of humor. He was always willing to help others. He knew what he wanted, and when. He loved life and he loved his wife.” Dale Betzhold
“Adventurous. youthfulness., sportsmanship / sportsman, mentor/mentoring; Jokester and comedian; and ……always smiles and great conversation” Teddy Kraus
“Fun loving, kind, generous, caring. Bob was “larger than life”. It was an honor to be called friend.” Traci Murphy
“Generous, determined, respectable, admirable….I could go on.” Kari Vogel
“Good natured” – Mike Brown
“Genuine and happy; always in a good mood….a real trooper!” Darcy Brown