Veterans Sportsman Alliance takes vets fishing at Schwarz Sturgeon Pond

PARMA, Idaho – Veterans Sportsman Alliance is on a mission to help veterans with disabilities get outside for a social and therapeutic experience in nature.

We met this group when they had veterans for a day of sturgeon fishing at Jim Schwartz Sturgeon Pond north of Parma, VSA is a non-profit organization that started in California and now has a presence in five States, including Idaho.

“The Idaho chapter is kind of new,” said Jeremiah Johnsons of VSA Idaho. “We want to be able to spread the word about Idaho, really get out there and let veterans know we’re here too.”

Walt Modler is a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Vietnam War. He had a great day on the pond as Walt and his fellow veterans brought in dozens of sturgeon.

“It’s nice to be out in nature and enjoying something, it’s great that we have groups that support veterans and keep them active,” Modeller said.

The Veterans Sportsman Alliance takes veterans hunting and fishing with donations to help with supplies, but they also rely on private landowners, farmers and places like Schwartz Pond.

Schwartz Pond stores fish, rents equipment and makes it easy for anglers as they don’t need a fishing license as the pond is on private property.

“We like that we can drive to our blinds so these guys don’t have to walk, we can just put them in the blinds, give them a chair, a heater, a shotgun and some shells and tell them let’s- y, let’s have some fun,” Johnson said. “Most of them like it, they can talk about their stories, we can tell them our stories so it’s a little bit different.”

VSA takes disabled veterans to Schwartz Pond once a year, Walt Modler enjoyed fishing with his fellow veterans, but he also really enjoyed watching some kid vets catch sturgeon.

“These veterans bringing their kids is even better,” Modeller said. “The excitement of the first fish, especially if it’s big, kids love that.”

If you would like to donate funds, supplies, or have a place where VSA can take veterans, Jeremiah Johnson has provided his email, [email protected]

Comments are closed.