Thousands of trout fishermen in Missouri will have a new, modern facility for cleaning their catch thanks to a Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) Work Boots on the Ground conservation project completed by a volunteer force of skilled union members.
When the Missouri Depart of Conservation contacted the USA about a project to benefit anglers and other visitors to Missouri’s popular Roaring River State Park, union members were quick to offer their time and skills. Volunteers from Bricklayers Local 15 constructed a retaining wall along the uphill side of a concrete pad where volunteers from Insulators Locals 1, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, and UA Plumbers Local 562 then built a 15×20 open-air facility, complete with a fish waste grinder. To wrap up the project, a member of Electrical Workers Local 95 added electric to the facility this week.
“Thanks to the many skilled volunteers who donated their time and talents, and especially to Insulators Local 1 Business Manager Gary Payeur who organized and coordinated the workforce, trout anglers have a clean, up-to-date facility to process their catch,” said USA Conservation Programs Manager Sam Phipps. “The value of the volunteer hours that went into the project topped $9,600—funds park staff can now use for other improvements.”
“Roaring River State Park is one of the most beautiful and most popular parks in Missouri,” said Payeur, “and the union membership is proud to do our part to help the public enjoy it even more.”
The Roaring River, within the state park, is visited by more than 100,000 eager trout anglers each year, according to Laura Hendrickson, director of Missouri State Parks Ozarks Region.
“Overall, the park gets about 1.5 million visitors per year,” she says, “and many of them come specifically to fish the river because of its abundant rainbow trout population—kept healthy by stocking from the Roaring River Fish Hatchery.”
When social distancing guidelines forced the closure of the park’s long-standing cleaning station last spring, park officials took the opportunity to replace the aged and well-used facility.
“Fundraising efforts led by the Cassville Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks financed all materials and site-preparation work,” said Hendrickson, “and the USA’s and union members’ involvement in bringing this new, modern facility to completion is very exciting. It’s a compliment to the project itself and the citizens of Missouri.”