MN Governor’s Fishing Opener

Fish Hook Lake
Fish Hook Lake – Hopefully this is what it looks like for the opener.

The 2013 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing opener is coming May 9 – May 12 in the Park Rapids area.   After being part of the Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Marshall last fall, MNSJ is looking forward to hitting the open water to chase walleyes.  Of course these events are more than just fishing.  It’s a chance to talk conservation, rub elbows with politicians in charge of legislating that conservation and see the sights and sounds of the area.  It’s been happening since 1948, and if you’d like to know more about what’s going on this year, visit

FOR THE PUBLIC: There is a Community Picnic Event that Governor Dayton will be attending, Friday May 10th at 3:30pm.  This is a fun-filled event including a free meal, activities and entertainment.  Everyone is welcome, and it will be held in downtown Park Rapids.   Of course you’re welcome to fish any of the area lakes as well during the opener.   Ben Brettingen and I plan on hitting the water and taking advantage of an opportunity to get out and rip some lips!

The big question of course, is whether or not the ice will be out.  You can bet we’ll be there no matter what taking part in the activities one way or another.  We’ve got some warm weather in the forecast so things could be looking up!  For the latest information on the events and what’s happening, check out the press release below.

MN Gov fishing opener

If your community would like to hold the event contact Carol Altepeter, Event Coordinator, at 218-828-2334 or  888-629-6466. Email:


Here’s the press release:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 29, 2013) – A pair of accomplished anglers from the Park Rapids area will host Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon for the 2013 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener on Saturday, May 11. Jason Durham will fish with Governor Dayton, and Dennis Mackedanz will fish with Lt. Governor Prettner Solon.


Jason Durham, 2013 fishing host for Governor Dayton

Jason Durham is a Park Rapids area “lifer,” guiding visitors to the Park Rapids area since he was 15-years-old. With 22 years of experience as a fishing guide, he not only shares his favorite fishing holes, but also touts his love for the area. He has authored two fishing books, writes numerous articles for outdoor publications, and shares his fishing techniques through seminars and guest spots on TV fishing shows.

Beyond being a die-hard fisherman, Jason is passionate about his other career, teaching kindergarten students for the Nevis School District. With a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, he is completing his 13th year of teaching young students. As a fishing guide and a kindergarten teacher, patience and flexibility come natural to Jason. Jason is married with three boys to share his love of fishing with. He also played a key role in working to get his community to host the Governor’s Fishing Opener event.


Dennis Mackedanz, 2013 fishing host for Lieutenant Governor Prettner Solon

Dennis Mackedanz has been a fishing enthusiast since he was 8-years-old. Born and raised in Paynesville, MN, he grew up fishing with his grandfathers. Dennis attended college in Alexandria, earning a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement, further pursuing a position as a deputy sheriff in Yellow Medicine County, where he honed his love of fishing.  In 2000, he became a paramedic for North Memorial Health Care in the Brainerd area, enthralled with area fishing holes, of course!  He began fishing tournaments with friends, placing high each year. Dennis currently serves as the manager of the Park Rapids division of North Memorial Ambulance – residing in an area that offers five lakes within minutes of his home, and which feeds his passion for fishing!

Dennis also serves as chair for the 2013 Governor’s Fishing Opener, guiding the Park Rapids planning committee team to host a successful 2013 event. He looks forward to “catching a memory” in Park Rapids this year.

The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a treasured tradition in Minnesota since 1948, while fishing is a key part of one of the largest sectors of our economy, tourism. The Opener is also a kick-off celebration for the statewide summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $11.9 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually. This year’s Opener is the perfect opportunity to spotlight Minnesota fishing and the Park Rapids Lakes Area.

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