Brief History of MUSKIES, INC.
by: Jim Smith
Muskies, Inc. was founded December 9, 1966 by Gil Hamm, a 62 year old building contractor from St Paul, Minnesota. Gil and thirteen others, Gary Bennyhoff, Richard D. Hammond, Robert Farinacci, Maurice Hurley, Gerald Palmer, James Peterson, Wally Wilbert, Richard Chapman, Rodric Guindon, Charles Huver, Arnold Lindall, Harold Meir, and Eric Rehnwall made up the original members.
The first Board of Directors meeting of Muskies, Inc. was held February 28, 1967, at Gil Hamm’s office in St. Paul, Mn. Articles of incorporation had been filed and subsequently the I.R.S. granted Muskies, Inc. a non-profit exemption under Section 501(c) (3) of the I.R.S. Code.
Later, one of the Board members, Darrell Trumbauer owned a bait shop and a commercial minnow hatchery at Battle Lake, Minnesota. This facility was to become a Muskies, Inc. rearing pond for muskies and a stocking program that over the years exceeded a $1,000,000.00 in value to the Minnesota DNR. The efforts of Muskies, Inc. to raise muskies in these ponds continued until 1980 when the ponds were drained primarily due to increasing costs of operation and water quality. Over the years as many as six chapters of Muskies, Inc. have established rearing ponds. Their members have spent considerable efforts to raise muskies for stocking around the states.
In 1978 Muskies, Inc. went on a campaign to establish chapters around the area and Larry Ramsell established fourteen new chapters. The Board of Directors took Muskies, Inc. to a new level and became an International Organization.