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Gull Lake ice out in time for 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener

Posted on: May 3rd, 2014 by Donna Ehnert 1 Comment

Ice out photo webBRAINERD LAKES —  Just in time for the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener on Gull Lake, ice-out was declared Saturday on Gull Lake.

“It’s exciting to finally see open water again. Now, we can move forward with final preparations for the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener,” said Lt. Scott Goddard, Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. “This is a great opportunity to spotlight our Brainerd Lakes region, including Gull Lake, one of the greatest lakes in Minnesota.”

In general, lakes are running a week earlier than last year and a week later than the median dates, according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office. Last year, most of Gull Lake was ice-covered on the fishing opener. Yet, two years ago, ice was out in late March.

According to the state climatology office, Gull Lake average ice-out date is April 21; the earliest ice-out date was March 26, 2012; and the latest ice-out date was May 18, 1950.

With ice now off the lake, resorters and property owners are busy putting in docks and launching boats. More than 100 fishing hosts will take guests out fishing as part of the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, hosted by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber with Grand View Lodge and in collaboration with the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce.

Goddard said on many lakes not all navigational markers will be placed in time for the opener and urged boaters to use caution. He also encouraged anglers to wear a life jacket. “Let’s have a fun, successful, and safe fishing opener,” Goddard said.

Special events as part of the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener are planned Thursday-Sunday, May 8-11, including a free community picnic, open to the public, beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, May 9, in downtown Nisswa. The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Picnic will include free food; live music throughout the event, concluding with headliner the Gear Daddies; giveaways; guest appearance by Goldy Gopher, the University of Minnesota mascot; fun family friendly games; vendor booths; and fireworks. Raffle tickets will be sold at the community picnic for an opportunity to win a prize package valued at $38,110 provided by Larson Boats. Learn more at www.winthisboat.com.

Fishing hosts were announced Friday – Ray Gildow will host Gov. Mark Dayton and Toby Kvalevog will host Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. Gildow and Kvalevog both are experienced professional fishing guides in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

More information on the fishing opener as well as the community picnic is available on the Explore Brainerd Lakes website.

About 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener
The 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be hosted by Gov. Mark Dayton and Brainerd Lakes Chamber, with Grand View Lodge as headquarters for the event, and in collaboration with the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce. The event is being coordinated by Explore Minnesota Tourism, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The 67th annual Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will spotlight fishing and the many recreational and travel opportunities in the Brainerd Lakes Area. More information can be found at www.mngovernorsopener.com, or via social media, using #GFO2014.

Photo Cutline: Steve Mau (left), Brainerd General Rental, and Frank Soukup, Grand View Lodge, 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener committee co-chairs, celebrate Friday on the Grand View Lodge shore on Gull Lake as the last remnants of ice melted away from that Gull Lake bay. Ice out Saturday arrived just in time for the May 8-11 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener events.


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    Let’s Go Fishing is starting its 13th year with over 2,200 volunteers dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals through fishing and boating excursions. To-date, 30 volunteer driven chapters in Minnesota and one Wisconsin bring communities together, and offer programming that enriches the lives of others while promoting our states great natural resources. After the long winter, many long for the summer days on the water. Let’s Go Fishing returns the outdoor experience to those whom might not otherwise have the opportunity to fish, boat or enjoy time with friends on the water. Since its inception in 2002 it has provided fishing experiences to roughly 108,000 senior citizens, youth, veterans and the disabled – often nursing-home-bound ex-fishermen and fisherwomen who have otherwise scant hope of ever again putting a line into the water. Clarence one of Let’s Go Fishing senior guests, said it best:

    “This program gave me an experience that I am still amongst the living. I am not forgotten. I am still wanted and can still enjoy life.”

    For guests, LGF is more than just an opportunity to go fishing. LGF’s program returns a sense of freedom to the lives of their guests, provides a safe opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, and offers time to socialize with peers and meet new friends which leads to happier, healthier individuals. Each year they have seen a growing demand from individuals, organizations and communities for our services. Let’s Go Fishing is continuing to grow their unique program to include new communities throughout Minnesota and beyond bringing joy to the lives of thousands of individuals.

    Let’s Go Fishing is a non-profit 501©3 organization. For more information go to http://www.lgfws.com or call the Home Office at 888-235-8448. Joe Holm will be at the Governors Fishing Opener with a Let’s Go Fishing custom pontoon. You may reach Joe at 320-905-7711 for more information.

    Fishing and boating is such a common past-time for Minnesotans and we may often take for granted how easy it is for many of us to enjoy our state’s beautiful lakes and rivers.

    Jane Drodofsky

    Development Director

    Let’s Go Fishing – Home Office

    1025 19th Avenue SW

    Willmar, MN 56201


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