New muskie license plates to support Wisconsin alliance’s efforts

Madison — Whether state citizens are a Packers, Brewers or Bucks fan, a Harley rider, a member of Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a ham radio operator or even a former POW, Wisconsin has a specialty license plate for everyone.

And now muskie anglers have the option of choosing a specialty plate to let the world know they’re fans of Wisconsin’s state fish.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the new plate will be donated to the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin, an association of 24 muskie fishing clubs located throughout Wisconsin. The idea for the new plate came from Bob Reinert, a member of the Hayward Lakes Chapter of Muskies, Inc., who proposed it several years ago at the alliance’s annual fall meeting.

Alliance president Larry Slagoski, of Weston, was the first to apply for a plate when they became available on Aug. 27.

“We needed to find a muskie image we could secure permission to use,” Slagoski said. “And that took awhile.”

Artist Rodd Umlauf, of Lake Tomahawk, offered the painting that was used in the plate’s design. It features a leaping muskie with a crankbait hooked in the corner of its mouth. The alliance also got permission from the lure manufacturer, H2O Tackle, of Freedom.

“A club member wanted to put ‘state fish’ on the bottom of the plate,” Slagoski said. “But the state said the plate has to bear the name of the group that benefits from it.”

Purchasers of the new plate will pay a $15 issuance or annual personalized plate fee, plus a $25 annual donation to the Musky Clubs Alliance, in addition to the regular registration fee for the vehicle, if plates are scheduled to expire within three months or if there are no plates for the vehicle.

The alliance will use the money generated by the sale of the specialty plates to support muskie rearing, stocking and research efforts, Slagoski said. Among other projects, the alliance funds scholarships for fisheries students at UW-Stevens Point and the spotted-muskie rearing program at the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery.

“None of this new money will be used to operate the alliance,” Slagoski said. “We’re putting it all back into the resources.”

The state must sell 500 or more of the specialty plates in the next three years, or it will be discontinued, Slagoski said. Response has been positive, and Slagoski is optimistic the alliance will reach that goal.

Applications for the new plate are available at DMV offices throughout Wisconsin or online at https://wisconsindot.gov/.

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