They are a who's who of Minnesota waterfowling -- 11 giants in waterfowl conservation who were inducted Saturday into the newly formed Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame.
"We wanted to recognize the people who have done so much for waterfowling,'' said Brad Nylin, executive director of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association (MWA). The 11, six of whom are deceased, were honored Saturday at the waterfowl association's banquet in Bloomington. The MWA plans to add other inductees yearly.
Here is the 2010 class:
JAMES FORD BELL
An avid waterfowl hunter who hunted at famed Heron Lake in its heyday, Bell, founder of General Mills, helped shape waterfowling history in Minnesota and the world. He owned land on what is now Delta Marsh in Manitoba and helped establish the Delta Waterfowl Research Station there. He was a driving force in the Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota, named in his honor. Bell, of Minneapolis, died in 1961 at age 81.
Englund, 73, of Minnetonka, one of Minnesota's premier waterfowl callers and a longtime duck and goose call maker, is known as Dr. Quack. His calls have won more than 35 calling competitions. He's one of the founders of the Minnesota Duck and Goose Callers Association and has been active with the MWA and other conservation groups.
Kouba, with his trademark waxed moustache and bolo ties, was one of Minnesota's most recognized wildlife artists and a devoted conservationist. He hit the big time when he won the federal duck stamp contest in 1958 and again in 1967. He also won the Minnesota duck stamp contest in 1978. He was among the first wildlife artists of his generation to donate prints and original works to conservation groups to raise money for waterfowl habitat. He died in 1998 at age 81.
Hangge, 80, of Albert Lea, is a founder of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and spearheaded the Save the Game Lakes initiative for the group. He knew shallow lakes were critical waterfowl habitat and pushed for the game lakes law, which allowed the DNR to manage lake levels on those designated shallow lakes to improve habitat.
Hawkins, of Lino Lakes, was a legend in waterfowl management. He was a student of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold and helped lay the foundation for waterfowl surveys that have been used for decades to set annual duck regulations. He also designed wood duck boxes. He died in 2006 at age 92.
Head is another active Albert Lea conservationist who was instrumental in forming the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and whose love of waterfowl permeated his life. He developed a floating carp barrier. Head died in 2004 at age 79.
Known as "The Duckman,'' Helmeke, of Maple Grove, was a tireless advocate for waterfowl and a longtime volunteer for Capable Partners, a group that takes physically challenged men and women hunting and fishing. He helped organize MWA's "Woodie Camp'' and two duck rallies at the State Capitol and helped pass the Legacy Amendment, dedicating funds to natural resources. He died last year at 62.
Lindell, 75, of Albert Lea, is another founder of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association -- originally called the Southern Minnesota Waterfowl Lake Improvement Association. An avid waterfowl hunter, his group helped push for the state duck stamp, to raise money to manage waterfowl lakes.
Nelson, 85, of Bloomington, worked for 42 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has spent his life tirelessly working for waterfowl and wetlands. He was executive director for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and has been involved with the MWA for decades, helping organize its annual waterfowl symposium.
Robinson was a legendary Minnesota sportsman, conservationist and cigar-smoking character. He was an outdoor writer for Sports Afield magazine for 60 years and was outdoor editor for the old Minneapolis Star. He was a member of five halls of fame -- skeet, trap, waterfowl, Minnesota sports and fishing. He rubbed elbows with the rich and famous at his duck camp in Manitoba, often funneling their money to conservation groups.
Tubbs, 71, of Rosemount, formerly of Albert Lea, is among four founders of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association. He worked tirelessly on wetland issues since the 1960s, is former president of the MWA and promoted managing roadsides for habitat. He also created the Tom Tubbs wood duck nesting box.