How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Walker, Leech Lake area hosts the Governor's 2007 Fishing Opener

by Joe Sherman, Publisher
The Pilot-Independent

We have been very fortunate over the years to have some great events take place in the Walker area. While employment is strong, like in any other era, some businesses are not doing well, some are doing alright, and others are booming. There is also cause for celebration as we now have a fishery on Leech lake that is closer to being in balance than in prior years.

The good news is . . .
The Governor's 2007 Fishing Opener will be held May 11, 12 and 13 on Leech Lake in Walker.

The really good news is . .
As many as 175 sports and outdoor writers will make Walker their destination for one of the most popular fishing openers in the entire United States.
Statewide and regional media coverage will include AM/FM radio stations, TV, daily and weekly newspapers, and sports, outdoor and news magazines.
The event draws writers from throughout the Midwest including Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, North and South Dakota, as far north as Winnipeg, Canada, and as far south as Texas.

Generally writers and reporters not only cover the fishing opener, but also write about the area that hosted the event and other recreational amenities offered there, such as watercraft sales and service, golf courses, resorts, camping and motel accommodations, dining facilities, trail systems for biking, canoeing, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, a shooting range including trap, skeet, sporting clays and various hunting opportunities, The media reporters will also highlight other major events that the Leech Lake area hosts, such as the International Eelpout Festival, Marine Power Sports Show, July 4 celebration, Moondance Jam, Walker Bay Days, Cajun Fest, Minnesota Softball Playoffs and Championship, Muskie-Northern Derby Days, Leech Lake Regatta, North Country Marathon, Muskies Inc. State Tournament, National Chainsaw Carving Championships in Hackensack and, of course, shopping.
In other words, these writers will be telling their readers about other reasons, beyond fishing, to visit the Leech Lake area.

The major fundraiser for the Governor's Fishing Opener will be the raffle of a 2007, 24-foot Crestliner pontoon with Mercury 60 h.p. four-stroke motor and an EZ-Loader trailer, valued at $29,572.00.

Crestliner is one of the major sponsors of the Governor's Fishing Opener. Tickets are on sale at $5 each or five for $20 through the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The raffle-winner will be drawn the evening of May 12 at Northern Lights Hotel and Event Center during the celebration dinner for invited guests.

Ron and Sandy Stachura, owners of Horseshoe Bay Resort, have agreed to act as the headquarters for the fishing opener event, where all guests will register and pick up their commemorative gift bags. Accommodation facilities for other guests are being coordinated by Explore Minnesota, based on certain necessary criteria.

The most important thing to remember is . . . that as the 175 some media writers talk to their, literally, millions of viewers, listeners and readers — we will be on display.

There will be many in-depth news features about the business and recreational opportunities and the 'northwoods' lifestyle available in our area. This is our time to show the rest of the world what makes our area is so unique and special.
Let's all pull together and make sure our personal properties and businesses are looking top notch and are prepared for a massive influx of media attention and customers: old weeds pulled, trees trimmed, businesses looking inviting, and having fully stocked inventories.

Foremost, remember that the most important feature we should offer our visitors, or guests —that doesn’t cost anyone red cent — is the smile on our faces. We are a friendly community and we have the opportunity to share that with millions of people with our smiles, kind words, and helpful attitudes.

The Leech Lake Chamber needs numerous volunteers for just about every aspect of hosting the large number of people we expect. I encourage you to contact the chamber and let them help you plan when and how you can play a key role in the success of this momentous community event.

The Chamber has a long list of suggestions of various volunteer activities needed, so even if you are not sure how you can contribute, it is very likely you'll be able to find something you would like to do. The chamber can be reached at 218-547-1313 or 1-800- 833-1118 or,

All the latest updates on the Governor’s Opener 2007 will be published in The Pilot-Independent, or go to, or
Soon we will begin a feature series in The Pilot called Leech Lake Legends, which should prove to be very interesting reading about Leech Lake and the people of this area.


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