Women's club takes members on Mississippi River adventure

QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - It's a group that's always looking for an adventure and a unique experience.

We joined about a dozen members of the Quad Cities Women's Outdoor Club as they headed out onto the Mississippi River in an Iowa Department of Natural Resources boat to learn about commercial fishing. It's just one of the many excursions the club has to offer.

"This past year we offered 140 activities to our members, 68 of them free, said event coordinator Chis Ciasto.

On this day, the DNR showed them how to catch fish using nets, just as commercial fishermen would do. Biologists from the DNR fisheries demonstrated the use of stationary hoop nets and dragged a trammel net behind the boat to show how to make a living both efficiently and legally. On this trip, they landed sauger, carp and, sturgeon among the day's catch.

So why does the DNR go to such lengths to teach members of the club?

"People take part in a resource and they're gonna want to make sure we protect that resource so they can pass it on," said DNR conservation officer Jeff Harrison.

The fishing trip is just one example of the variety of activities the Club has to offer. With over 400 members, groups large and small can try all sorts of things, like learning how to paddle-board or take a trip to the recycle center.

"I would say women in our group tend to care about the environment. They're life-long learners. They want to be active, Ciasto added.

And, they want to be together.

"It's the opportunity to get out with a lot of cool women and do a lot of cool things that are difficult to do on your own," explained club member Vicki Ferguson.

"Love the adventures. Love all the people I meet. It's a great opportunity. If you're a woman, join us," another member added.

For 11 years now, members have been sharing a common desire for an educational, social and active experience. The club continues to welcome new members. If you're interested in joining, dues are $25 a year.