The Northwoods chapter of Let’s Go Fishing is running into some obstacles leading up to its second season.
The group formed last year to take seniors, veterans, and disabled people on boat rides, free of charge. The trips leave from Hodag Park in Rhinelander, as it’s close to many care facilities.
But chapter Vice President Mark Schroeder says the program faces the problem of where to store the 33-foot pontoon boat between rides.
“We don’t have a place to moor it on Boom Lake. It would make it more accessible for people to volunteer. Not everybody has a truck to tow that thing with, if they do to pull it up and down roads is quite a cumbersome thing.”
Hauling it in and out of the water is a lot of work, says Shroeder. The group is hoping to hold three outings each week this summer, and needs to make the process easier on the boat and on the volunteers.
The pontoon boat is handicapped accessible and can seat up to 14. Shrayder says the chance to get outside fills a big void for many people.
“Just being out on the water and back in nature and seeing the birds and wildlife again. It’s very positive. If you see the seniors that haven’t been out – they’re in a care facility, you can’t imagine the change in their lives, they’re excited, they want to go out again.”
Let’s Go Fishing says it needs a Boom Lake landowner to volunteer space on an existing dock, or give permission to put in a new dock. The rides will continue to leave from Hodag Park.