Hugh C. Becker was one of the Twin Cities Chapters first members.
He was 89 years old when he passed away January 15, 2007.
Hugh was born July 1, 1917, and grew up in south Minneapolis where he was an excellent student athlete at Washburn High School and the University of Minnesota, lettering in Big Ten baseball in the 1938 to 1940 seasons, and he was the Minnesota weight-lifting champion in his class.
Hugh earned two degrees from the University of Minnesota, one before and one after World War II. After graduation in 1940, Hugh served in the US Marine Corps as an artillery officer and participated in both the Guadalcanal and Okinawa campaigns. After the war Hugh worked as a Physical Therapist at the Veterans Administration hospital in Minneapolis, and retired from this position in 1972.
Hugh began fishing for muskies in the 1940s. In 1953, many years prior to Muskies, Inc. “catch and release” program, he began his own tagging program.
During the next several years Hugh gathered considerable data on recaptured tagged muskies and shared this information with Dr. Crossman of the Ontario Royal Museum and Art Oemcke of the Wisconsin DNR. This early data demonstrated the catch and release concept to both biologists and anglers.
Hugh joined Muskies, Inc., in the developmental stages of the organization and contributed to the club in many areas. He served on the Board of Directors for more than twenty years and ran the Members Only contest for seven years.
At Hugh’s suggestion to Gil Hamm, membership and participation in Muskies, Inc., was open to women and In 1976 Hugh initiated and funded a three-year tagging program directed by the Minnesota DNR. This study satisfied the Minnesota DNR to approve the “catch and release” as a viable muskie conservation effort.
Because of poor health, Hugh stopped fishing in 2002. But in the 55 years of muskie-fishing in the U.S. and Canada, Hugh enjoyed the success that goes with hard work and dedication to the sport. This includes catching muskies over 40 pounds as recently as October, 2000.