‘Noreen will be smiling down on us’

A boat launch named in memory of Noreen Clough opened in Wisconsin earlier this month.

HAGER CITY, Wis. — “Noreen will be smiling down on us,” Ken Snow said, just before a bass tournament began at Pool 4 on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River in early June.

That’s because the tournament was the first to be staged at the Noreen Clough Memorial Boat Landing in Pierce County. The facility, named for the former B.A.S.S. national conservation director who died of cancer earlier this year, opened June 4.

Snow, the former conservation director for the Wisconsin B.A.S.S. Nation, made it his mission to see that Clough was honored for her dedication to fisheries and fishermen.

“The idea for this launch site was inspired by Noreen,” said Snow, who added that the Wisconsin side offers little access. “She was always looking for ways to increase public access to our lakes and rivers. Noreen and I talked about this project five years ago. I proposed the idea to our county parks committee, and they approved it.”

The member of the St. Croix Bass Anglers also credits Clough’s passion with inspiring him to get involved politically so he could be a voice for anglers. As a result, he ran for the Pierce County Board of supervisors, where he is serving his third two-year term and is chairman of the Pierce County Parks Committee.

“Noreen cared deeply about the health of fisheries in every state,” Snow said. “She was instrumental in getting the fishing tournament laws changed in Wisconsin, spending countless hours meeting with our state officials, despite living in Florida.”

The $400,000 facility features a 30-foot ramp with two lanes, two handicap-accessible docks, restroom and a parking lot that accommodates 37 vehicles and trailers, with overflow available for more than 50 more.

Its construction was partially funded through the federal Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program. And that connection makes naming the landing in honor of Clough even more appropriate. Before joining B.A.S.S., she was the first female regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers those funds.

“We had five options for the name of the landing, and our parks committee chose the Noreen Clough Memorial Boat Landing,” Snow said.

“It took a few years to work through all of the planning, but we finally got it done. Thanks to a power plant a few miles upstream, this facility will be open on a year-round basis.”

And that is just what Noreen Clough would have wanted.

To make a donation to the Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarship for Females in Fisheries, click here.