In 1984, a small group of walleye fishermen founded the Lake Champlain Walleye Association. Mike Sullivan of Vergennes, Vermont, began the effort because he noticed the decline of the walleye catch rates; he felt that it was time to act and do something about it. Mike, Tony Lalumiere, Winston Whitten, Kevin McEnerney and Ed Rivers met to discuss ways to start action on this project.
The group held meetings with other non-project organizations in Vermont and New York; some meetings had attendance of 75 to 80 people. At that point, they realized that there definitely was a need to proceed and take action. Mike felt that, since this group of fishermen knew how catch walleye, they also should learn how to raise walleye. John Anderson, a state fish biologist, initially attended meetings to answer questions. Later, Tom Wiggins, Vermont State hatchery manager, also attended meetings to offer his knowledge and expertise.
This page is to honor and remember Mike Sullivan who, unfortunately, left all of us all too soon. He was a very dear friend of the founders, as well as a “friend” of the walleye. Without his commitment, dedication and countless hours of research and travel throughout Vermont and New York, LCWA would not have accomplished what it has by restoring thousands of walleye fingerlings back into the Lake Champlain Basin.
On February 14, 2015, LCWA’s Past President Daniel Lewis Mitchell departed on his “final fishing adventure.” An avid outdoorsman, Dan was instrumental in getting the walleye restoration off the ground. His vision and leadership as President of LCWA secured the first grant to build a portable walleye hatchery to hatch and stock walleye into Lake Champlain. He secured many more grants and expanded the program. Dan received letters of commendation for his work from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and then Governor Jim Douglas. His guidance and presence will be missed by all who knew him. LCWA has recently received donations in his memory. In addition to our acknowledgement and appreciation of generosity by those individuals, as well as the Town of St. Albans, we also appreciate their recognizing Dan’s valuable contribution in restoring the walleye fishery and by continuing his legacy.