Conservation Clubs Make A Difference

The Quad Cities Conservation Alliance Outdoor Show is a unique event. For one thing, the Expo Center where it's held is owned by the combined conservation clubs that form the QCCA. It was designed as a lumber warehouse and covers 60,000 square feet of display area under a vaulted, wooden roof.

At the Show, kids can win participation in a group outing on Lake Michigan for salmon and trout. They can fish for trout at the show, too. And climb rock walls, take target practice with BB guns, learn archery, race minnows, and listed to some great, youth-oriented seminars.

And all the speakers at the event are invited to attend a breakfast banquet for area kids and answer their questions in a panel. Afterward, rods, tackle, DVDs, and fishing trips are raffled off. While sitting at breakfast with the kids, I had a young lady on my left, and a young lad on my right, sharing their fishing stories simultaneously. They had a lot of stories, and both quite obviously loved fishing with dad.

It often seems like the cards are stacked against the effort these days. Gas prices, insurance, finding volunteers who can find the time — it's a daunting proposition. So how do these groups do it? It's all about strength in numbers. The QCCA is made up of the Rock Island Conservation Club, the Frye Lake Sportsman Club, the Mississippi Valley Chapter of Muskies Inc., and Quad City In-Fisherman. Combined, with help provided by the Outdoor Show, and by renting the of the Expo Center to other groups and events, they  have the financial strength to make a difference and stack the odds in favor of the kids.

Young men and women of the Moline High School Bass Fishing Team spoke to the kids at breakfast this morning, reinforcing the excitement fishing can generate. How many high schools, I wonder, have bass fishing teams? Another great way to get kids to involve as much time in the real world as they do in the artifice of texting, video games, and social networking.

Watching kids win prizes is special, but hearing them glow about their fishing experiences was inspirational. Clearly, the QCCA is making a difference, and setting a great example. By combining efforts, conservation groups and volunteers can change the odds for city kids. It never hurts for kids to see, first hand, that life can be lived in appreciation of life.

The show goes on again tomorrow (Feb. 19). Great weather is bringing big crowds, and that's great news for all the kids of the Quad Cities.

Recommended for You


Blackened Fish Recipe

Tommy Thompson

Blackened fish ready to serve with a side of okra and cucumber-red onion salad. This recipe is...


Costa Baffin Sunglasses Review

Chris Schneider - April 26, 2019

Made from 100% recycled fishing nets, the Costa Baffin's are a must-have for any serious...


Steelhead Trout Niçoise Salad Recipe

This recipe for Steelhead Trout Niçoise Salad is heart healthy, paleo- and gluten-free...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...

Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...


All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

See More Stories

More Conservation


The Simple & Continuing Sense In Selective Harvest

In-Fisherman - July 23, 2012

The fish we catch and keep to eat are for most of us a reward for our effort that goes beyond...


The American Sportfishing Association - ASA

Steve Quinn - October 09, 2014

As I worked on this year's In-Fisherman Gear Guide, I noted the many references to the annual...


In-Fisherman - March 06, 2012


See More Conservation

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.