New owner to oversee annual Muskie Expo

By ALEX BELD - Daily News Staff

March 30, 2018

Muskies hang on a display of a taxidermist vendor at the Muskie Expo on Feb. 12, 2016, at Washington County Fair Park in the town of Polk.
Daily News

About two years after Doug Reuter moved the Muskie Expo from State Fair Park in West Allis to Washington County Fair Park, he is handing over the reins to a new owner.

Mike Veserat is taking over the show, which has been attracting anglers for more than 25 years. The Washington County Fair Park most recently hosted the Expo from Feb. 9-11.

When asked why he was taking over Veserat said, “Why? Cause it’s fun.” He said the expo includes a great group of people from a great sport.

The event provides gear for fishing through vendors as well as speakers from the industry.

Last year, the Expo had a separate event focusing on walleye, bass, panfish, crappie, perch, trout and other fish found in the Great Lakes.

“After putting it together last year, we sat back and looked at it,” Reuter said to the Daily News in 2017. “We found out 40 percent of muskie fishermen that use a guide have never been to a muskie show.

“We’re probably missing 40 percent of muskie fishermen and that a multi-species show would attract more people.”

At 66, Reuter will move into retirement, made possible by the sale of the expo.

Veserat said the sale came after, “a mutual friend made the introduction and Doug and I hit it off right away.”

The exchange is similar to a business changing hands, except Veserat has several groups to introduce himself to as he takes over. This includes vendors, speakers and the people who walk through the gates on event days.

Some changes other than ownership may come to the expo after Veserat becomes acquainted with the various stakeholders.

“Some things can be changed overnight and some things are going to take a few years,” Veserat said. There are aspects about the expo that will remain the same, he said.

The new owner said the location will remain the same, “for the moment.” He said the grounds are good and clean and that the event is a feather in the cap of the venue.