Governor's Fishing Opener
Organizational meetings for the 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener in Park Rapids have already been taking place.
Committees have congregated, though additional volunteers are sought for the numerous positions needed for the May event.
It may seem early, but in reality, the 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener will land in Park Rapids in a little over seven months. With somewhere around 300 volunteers needed, preparation is essential.
One of those volunteer positions is of a fishing "host." To clarify, a host doesn't mean having someone stay in your home; it refers to the volunteers who take a couple of the guests, primarily media, sponsors and dignitaries, fishing on the opening day of the 2013 walleye season.
Gov. Mark Dayton is hoping to land a walleye on Fish Hook Lake and the event lists the Fish Hook chain (Fish Hook, Potato, Eagle and Island lakes) as the primary destination.
However, each host has the ability to take their guests to any area lake.
Organizers are looking for people who are passionate about the area and are willing to accommodate a couple anglers onboard for opening day.
You don't need to be a guide, professional angler or have a brand new boat. You simply need to be personable, convey the positive attributes of the Park Rapids area and share what you like about the region.
This is not a tournament or competition; it's simply a chance for Park Rapids to show off its greatest attributes for those who can help boost our tourism; media including television, radio, writers, photographers and tourism advocates.
The commitment to become a host for the 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener is a simple process.
First, go to the Park Rapids Chamber website (www.parkrapids.com) and click on the 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener icon. Fill out the host application and send it via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or print it out and mail it to the Park Rapids Chamber.
Understand that this is not a paid position, but the experience is memorable and a "commemoratives" package is provided.
For hosts, the week begins on Thursday evening, May 9, 2013. You'll have an amazing dinner at no charge to hear about the expectations in your role as a fishing host.
Friday evening, May 10, includes a pairings meeting, which is brief but gives you a chance to meet the guests joining you for opening day.
This follows the community picnic on Main Avenue that offers free food and lots of entertainment for any person who attends.
Saturday morning's walleye opener begins with an official send-off from Gov. Mark Dayton on Fish Hook Lake. A shore lunch greets the hosts and guests at Northern Pines Church Camp around the noon hour.
While some guests will fish throughout the afternoon with their hosts, many wrap up their fishing day after the shore lunch.
Yet no matter how many fish they catch, they're sure to have a lasting image of the Park Rapids area upon departure.
The slogan for the Park Rapids Governor's Fishing Opener 2013 is, "Catch a Memory."
(Jason Dunham writes for the Park Rapids Enterprise)