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Janis Meyer (left) watches as Vern Warwick takes the hook from the mouth of her rainbow trout. The trout will be among those served up as part of Friday's Fish Boil put on by the Star Prairie Fish & Game group.

Seniors reel 'em in for Friday fish boil event

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The Star Prairie Fish & Game organization is boiling up a batch of grub for the community this Friday.

The local wildlife and conservation group is hosting its first-ever "Fish Boil" from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at River Island Park in Star Prairie.

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For just $10 per plate, attendees will enjoy a heaping plate of rainbow trout, potatoes, corn on the cob and mushrooms. Beer, wine coolers, water and soda will be available for purchase as well.

Entertainment will be provided by Timbre Creek from 7 to 10 p.m. Fish boil participants are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to the event, as picnic table space may be limited.

SPFG President Dan Bygd said the goal of the evening is to have fun and to tell others about the great things the local organization is involved in.

"Several of our members have traveled around the Great Lakes areas and have experienced fish boils," he said. "We just thought this would be a good opportunity to bring people together and share some fish from our local trout farm."

According to Stuart Nelson, the fish boil event replaces the organization's popular summer Park Party, which was held for about five years.

"We really enjoyed that event, but people didn't realize how much work it was," Nelson said. "The fish boil seems to meet our mission better than the party. We're able to give back to the community and celebrate River Island Park, which we have helped develop through the years."

SPF&G purchased one large fryer, and will use a second fryer owned by Rick Connors at Russell's Sport & Bike in Star Prairie, to help prepare Friday's meal. The local organization already went through a couple trial runs to make sure they could accommodate enough people, and to test the spices that will be used in the fish boil.

"It was absolutely delicious," Nelson reported. "The key is the spices you put into it."

With the two fryers, Nelson estimated, about 100 people per hour can be served.

The trout used for the evening's event will come from two sources. The Star Prairie Trout Farm is supplying much of the fish.

The rest comes from a private trout pond on the Apple River property of Don and Lori Stephens.

A group of senior citizens from The Deerfield senior living complex and the St. Croix Health Center nursing home enjoyed a trout fishing outing last Thursday, Sept. 27, to begin preparations for the fish boil. The action was fast and furious that day as the hungry rainbow trout tried to gobble up the bait.

After an hour of fishing, quite a few whoopers were already pulled from the pond and stored in a cooler. The fish were cleaned and put on ice in anticipation of the upcoming fish boil.

On Friday night, roughly 300 people will be served during the rain-or-shine gathering.

"We'll keep serving until it's gone," Nelson said. "We're pretty well synchronized now. Everybody has their job to do and they know how to get it done."

Nelson suggested that not everyone show up for the fish boil promptly at 5 p.m., otherwise there might be a lengthy wait for some people.

Money raised from the fish boil will help SPF&G fund its many programs, such as senior pontoon rides, fish crib construction, public landing maintenance, McMurtrie Preserve maintenance and development, safety courses and more.

Other fundraisers conducted annually by SPF&G include Bucks Night in November and the Ox Cart Days duck races.

Nelson said SPF&G is currently accepting grant applications from community organizations that conduct projects that meet the mission of the organization.

For more information about Star Prairie Fish & Game, visit www.spfg.org.

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