Feb 1: 2023-24 Guest Speaker #3

The WI driftless area trout fishery wasn’t always the amazing resource we know, and love, today. GBTU’s next presenter, Dave Vetrano, will enlighten us to the ups, downs, and future surrounding one of the world’s premier trout fisheries.

The summary of the GBTU February 2024 presentation is below (from retired WI Fisheries Biologist, Dave Vetrano):


At the time of European settlement Driftless Area streams ran deep, cold and clear and were full of brook trout. However land use practices unsuited for the topography and climate of the area caused massive amounts of soil erosion. By the 1930’s, valleys in the watersheds were filled with 12-15 feet of sediment. The brook trout fishery was destroyed.

Recent changes in land use, aggressive land acquisition, habitat restoration programs and wild trout stocking have returned most streams to naturally reproducing brown and brook trout. A recent study found trout stream fishing in the Driftless Area is a 1.6 billion dollar industry and growing.

However, massive flooding events and changing precipitation patterns are forcing stream restoration experts to reevaluate habitat methods that have been used for the last 50 years.


David Vetrano worked as a fisheries biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for more than 33 years. Almost all of his time was spent managing the coldwater program in streams of the Driftless area in SW Wisconsin. While there he witnessed the streams change from “put and take” heavily stocked waters to self- sustaining streams with very little stocking.

Since his retirement in 2010, David has served on several agricultural boards promoting managed grazing systems. He currently lives on a farm where he pastures Jersey steers and his wife Linda who is a trained culinary chef, has a specialty dessert business.

David has a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries from the University of Wisconsin, Steven’s Point.”


  • Date: Thursday, February 1st
  • Time: 5:30p – BOD meeting / 7p – Guest Speaker
  • Location: Village Grille, 801 Hoffman Rd, Green Bay, WI 54301 (CLICK HERE FOR GOOGLE MAP)
  • Speaker: Dave Vetrano – WI DNR Fisheries Biologist (retired)
  • Title: A History of the WI Driftless Area Trout Fishery & What Lies Ahead
  • Extras: Free Food, Soda and Door Prizes !
  • Questions: Please contact GBTU President Adrian Meseberg – [email protected] / (920) 562-6129

(While the 5:30p BOD meeting is for participation by the Board, it is open to anyone who would like to attend)

We can’t wait to see you there !!

Thank you for all you do for our coldwater resources !!!