“Part of being an organization like this is improving recreational opportunities for people,” explains Don Pyrah, member of the Crooked Creek Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited in Lewistown.
And boy, the improvements they’ve made…
The Crooked Creek Chapter has developed waterways all around the state, from boat ramps and dock repairs at Fourchette Bay to assistance renovating Nelson Reservoir’s headgate structure. The organization has installed fire pit rings, picnic tables, and picnic shelters at Petrolia Lake; they’ve contributed to fish cleaning stations across Montana; and they’ve partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers on projects at Crooked Creek, for which their chapter is named. This Lewistown walleyes club has even helped maintain the dock at East Fork Reservoir—where there are no walleyes.
“We feel it’s important to contribute to all types of fishing experiences,” says Pyrah.
For that reason, the club began construction on a handicapped accessible fishing platform at East Fork Reservoir in 2019.
“We plan to have it complete in spring 2020 to provide people who are wheelchair-bound better fishing opportunities,” Pyrah says.
Outside of fishing, the Crooked Creek Chapter has also contributed to various community causes, including the Boys and Girls Club, Special Olympics, and the local ice skating rink, swimming pool, and fire station. Pyrah says that children’s organizations are near to their hearts, as are programs for veterans. The chapter helps support the local Veterans Van which takes veterans to VA centers around the state. Each year, a collection is taken at the club’s annual banquet and the chapter matches these donations with its own funds.
“The banquet is our primary source of fundraising for community and fishing habitat projects,” explains Pyrah.
The 2020 banquet will take place at the Lewistown Trade Center on February 22.
For more information on the Crooked Creek Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited, call (406) 380-0064.