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“We are very grateful to a local business that has recently pledged $10,000 toward the acquisition of a conservation easement on the upstream 360 acre parcel. This kind of generous support reinforces our belief that the project will succeed. --- Pilgrim River Watershed Project”


Challenge #19

Challenge #19 - $2000

The John Ollila and Bill Challenge - We have supported the Pilgrim River Watershed Project since December 17, 2009, when CCCTU began fundraising. In addition to working on the Project, we enjoy the high quality fishing and solitude the Pilgrim River and surrounding woods provide.

In that spirit, these two senior fishermen have jointly pledged to match up to a total of $2,000 in donations.



- Thank you, John Ollila & Bill Leder

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"A life-long hunter and fisherman, I've always considered the Yellow Dog River in Marquette County to be the ideal wilderness, with its towering white pine, freshly flowing waters, and eager brook trout. That was before I experienced the Pilgrim. With widely varying terrain, diverse forests, and the Pilgrim River - the crown jewel - it is beyond comparison. Hiking through the woods in search of trout or grouse, it is easy to forget that this magnificent tract of land is just a few miles from the center of town. --- Bob Page, Houghton"

"As a 'wild' outdoors kid, I tromped both the upper and lower Pilgrim. I look forward to doing it again in my retirement. Thanks for making this possible." --- Daniel Salo, Houghton, Michigan

"Beautiful! We moved to Houghton in 1971 with our four children. Our two boys fished the Pilgrim from our arrival until their graduation from MTU. Both were metallurgists: Dan 1982 and Paul 1984. Our daughter, Roberta, graduated from MTU in 1985 as a Civil Engineering Tech. Paul and Roberta were members of the MTU indoor and outdoor Track and Field teams. Living on Seventh Ave for over 30 years the article about the Pilgrim River brought back many memories. How can we help?" --- Mary and Bob Bucklin, Zephyrhills, Florida

"I’m a walker/hiker that always enjoys paths to walk outside in a park , lakeshore, or the woods. I recently walked the Pilgrim River Trail and found it magnificent. I know donations are needed to continue and complete the project. I gladly made a contribution." --- Mary Claire Wyble, St. Paul, Minnesota”

"This is a significant area for birds which return from the south each spring and spend the summer here, vireos, thrushes, warblers, and others that sing in our woods in spring. --- Dana Richter, President, Copper Country Audubon"

"A lot of memories were stirred up as I made this contribution including: Leonard Ollila and how he never refused anyone permission to fish in his section of the Pilgrim; getting to know John at MTU in the 1960s and fishing with him on the Pilgrim and other rivers; visiting with Leonard at Sheldon's Bakery as he enjoyed morning coffee; meeting Stan Frantila for the first time and recruiting him for CCCTU and then seeing that shy smile as he walked into our meetings or as we met in WalMart; and my dad who introduced me to the outdoors and especially trout fishing. I'm proud to be able to donate for this very worthwhile project on their behalf. My hope is that this section of the Pilgrim River will remain undeveloped and open to the public far into the future. --- Bill Deephouse, CCCTU Member, Houghton, MI "

"My friend Ken is not really a fisherman. We fish together because I like to fish and he likes to camp and hike and I’ve known him for a long time. He didn’t really have the tackle for this stream. John and I used 0 and 00 Mepps spinners and pieces of night crawlers for bait. Ken used a hook and a piece of night crawler. I caught a 9 inch brook on my first cast. After that it was all fun and games. At one point we had finished fishing a pool and I began to wade upstream through it. The trout were swimming a few feet in front of me and heading upstream as if I was herding them. There were at least 30 of them ranging in size from 4 inches to 16 inches all swimming along against the current in front of me. In less than one hour (at high noon) all three of us had our limit of brook trout and I don’t think a single one was less than 9 inches long. Most were in the 12 inch range. We saw many bigger ones, but they didn’t get that big by being easy to catch. --- Phil Sealy, Assoc. Prof. and Chair of Electrical Engineering, UW-Platteville"

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