THE NORTHWOODS - There have been mixed results out on the water for the first week of fishing season. But locals are happy to see the ice melting and are getting out there to give it a try.
Crandon's Ryan Alloway went out fishing with his friend Blake on opening weekend. The 13 year old was very excited to bring in this 20 inch bass. Ryan used a Carolina rig with a Berkeley power worm and is looking forward to catching an even bigger one next time.
Also from Crandon, Andy Madl caught this 33 inch 14.5 pound walleye. This monster was reeled in on the Fox River and was the biggest ever for Andy. He used a crank bait and released it after capturing the moment.
And Newswatch 12's own Joe Dufek tried his luck crappie fishing for the first time in over 20 years. Joe was out on the Three Lakes chain with fishing guide Gary Myshak. After about an hour, Joe reeled in his very first crappie. It was 11.5 inches and he was using crappie minnows for bait. As you can tell from the smile, Joe was thrilled with his catch.
RHINELANDER - Technology seems to change almost daily. That's why the City of Rhinelander Public Works Department is growing its use of radio water meter devices.
A little blue box takes in signals from radio water meters on certain homes installed with radio meters. Workers don't even need to get out of their cars to get a reading.
More than 200 homes in Rhinelander use the technology, but there are more then 3200 water customers in the area.
But Rhinelander Public Works Director Tim Kingman says the radio meters make the process much faster.
"An employee can go into a an area where these radio read instruments or meters are used and touch a button and it collects several if not dozens of meter readings at a time," Kingman said.
Tom Roeser reads meters, installs radio meters and does other kind of work for the Rhinelander Water Department. He has to walk through plenty of yards to get to readers.
"Oh yeah I get asked what I'm doing a lot," Roeser said.
For most of the properties in Rhinelander, Roeser uses a touch stick to automatically send readings to a wireless receiver he carries with him.
"You don't have to scroll to find out where you are in your route," Roeser said. "You can just read it and it moves into the hand held and you can continue on."
If the reader doesn't work, Roeser punches in the reading by hand. The department installs the radio meters on homes that are more spaced out, which helps speed up the process.
Rhinelander bills water quarterly, so every three months. A city wide radio meter system would speed up the process so much the city could have monthly billing. The upgrade would help customers find water waste issues sooner because they would see signs of it in their bill more often.
"We try to do that frequently as possibly can," Kingman said. "But with a quarterly system we're not able to do that as quickly as we would desire."
Kingman says right now it wouldn't be worth it to upgrade the entire system. The cost would outweigh the benefits to taxpayers and customers. So they'll take their time and upgrade little by little.
"We're trying to do two or three percent a year,"Kingman said.
That means Roeser will have plenty of walking ahead of him, but that's what he likes.
"The radar reads are fine, especially on the long runs," Roeser said. "But I like doing the walking."
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