MN and ND governors launch on Fish Hook River Saturday morning
By Anna Erickson
Park Rapids Enterprise
PARK RAPIDS - Fishing guide Jason Durham received praise from Gov. Mark Dayton Saturday morning after a successful fishing outing shortly after midnight.
“Jason is my new hero,” Dayton said Saturday morning. “He can walk on water.”
The governor caught a walleye at 12:25 a.m. Saturday. It was bigger than the other two fish he’s caught on previous openers combined, he said.
Gov. Dayton was joined by North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Minnesota Sen. Rod Skoe Saturday morning as they launched a boat on the Fish Hook River at about 8 a.m.
“It’s cold, it’s windy, it’s icy. It must be a Minnesota Fishing Opener,” Dalrymple said.
He is familiar with the Fish Hook Lake area of Park Rapids. When he heard this year’s opener would be in Park Rapids he wanted to join Gov. Dayton.
Dalrymple said that Minnesota and North Dakota have a good relationship with people fishing and hunting in both states and he wanted that to continue.
Skoe grew up waterskiing on the Fish Hook River and recalled it being a lot warmer than it was today. Temperatures this morning were in the mid-30s with gusting winds.
Eventually, it will warm up and Minnesota will have a great summer and great tourism season, though, Skoe said.
Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon also spoke briefly Saturday morning. This was the first time the governor had caught a fish before her in the opener. She joked about their friendly competition and wished all fishermen good luck.
“I hope everyone is successful in catching their walleye today,” she said.
Activities continue throughout the day with a shore lunch for media and dignitaries and a celebration dinner tonight. At tonight’s dinner, the location of the 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener will be announced.