Stanley the Sturgeon coming to Shawano and beyond

By: 

Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

Mountain Bay Outfitters (Lazy Wolf Adventures) has made the Judd Park/Lieg Avenue Boat Landing a busy place! It makes me smile watching them unload the colorful kayaks, tubes and canoes for their excited customers.

Owner Tim Conradt commented: “It’s been a good summer, and business has been steady. We will continue to be open seven days a week through Labor Day. We will adjust our hours after Labor Day and continue to stay open as long as the weather cooperates, probably until the first part of November.”

Tim continued: “Fall is such a beautiful time of the year. A paddle down the Wolf River when the leaves are colorful is a sight worth seeing. Some people think kayaking and rafting is just a summertime recreation, but autumn is actually a great time to be out on the river.

“Shawano Lake is popular and a busy spot for both locals and visitors. But it is nice that the Wolf River is becoming busier; it is such an asset for the area.”

Tim added: “I will always be grateful to Curt and Peggy Houk who were instrumental in me starting the river tour business here.”

Tim’s family roots are in Shiocton, where he lives with his wife, Lynn. Their three daughters and families (five grandchildren) live there too. Tim’s five siblings also live within a 5-mile radius. Their close-knit family gets together every Sunday for dinner.

Tim is well respected in Shiocton, where he was selected Citizen of the Year a few years ago. Tim continues to promote tourism in Shiocton and he does a good job of promoting tourism here in Shawano too. Tim refers to Shawano as “his second home” and his wife often joins him here at the shop on the weekends.

“The people in the Shawano area are really special,” Tim commented. “They have a loyalty to their local businesses and we really appreciate that. I sell a lot of bikes to local residents. Repairing bikes is a big part of our business too.”

He added: “Being located along the Mountain Bay Trail is an ideal location. We have made a lot of friends here; Shawano is a great place to have a small business.”

Soon Stanley, a beautiful 15-foot fiberglass sturgeon, will be mounted on South Main Street near the Mountain Bay Outfitters. He will point the way to Sturgeon Park. Tim originally carved the sturgeon out of Styrofoam. It was fragile and difficult to handle. He took it to a fiberglass shop where they made a mold.

He said: “There are actually two identical sturgeon; the other one is located on Bamboo Bend in Shiocton. My 3-year-old grandson gets excited when he sees it and calls it grandpa’s fish.”

Tim shared some exciting news with me!

He said: “I am currently in the process of featuring Stanley the Sturgeon in what I hope will become a series of children’s books. I have been working with an illustrator in Minneapolis. The adventures of Stanley the Sturgeon are in the works, and I am pretty excited.”

Tim said it is important to him to leave behind a legacy; something that will help his grandchildren and great-grandchildren remember their family ancestry. He allowed me to take a peek at the draft of Stanley’s first adventure. It is delightful. He just might have found that legacy!

He plans to change the name of his tours next year to “Stanley the Sturgeon River Tours.” Some new tour options are in the planning stages.

While visiting with him at his shop, Tim showed me a few of his wood carvings. I had no idea he is such a talented carver. His work is detailed and beautiful. I learned he has won first place numerous times at the World Fish Carving Championships and Mid Wisconsin Woodchippers.

Tim’s brother is the president of Shadows on the Wolf. Tim’s father, Dennis, who passed away last year, was one of the founders of the club. He served as president of the club for 22 years.

Tim’s passion for helping others and donating of his time mirrors his father’s. Tim donates a carving to the club every year in an effort to help the club and the community. He is also donating one of his carvings, a perch, to the Navarino Nature Center for their annual fundraiser banquet. His carvings bring in some nice bids.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting local businessman Tim Conradt, take the time to stop in his shop, Wolf River Outfitters, on South Main. In addition to being a hardworking businessman, he is a great conversationalist who would welcome your visit.

There’s a fair in the air! Enjoy.

Here’s the answer to last week’s question: Jan Lewellyn was the Shawano County director of nursing in 2009.

This week’s question is: In 1981, there were three health food stores located in Shawano. Can you name them?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.