Volunteers with the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener Planning Committee gathered Monday with Smiley the Nisswa Ox as they prepared for Tuesday’s ice-out operations. The 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener events, hosted by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber with Grand View Lodge and the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce, will be May 8-11 in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
Ice logging operations will begin Tuesday to remove ice from Gull Lake now that visitors demand spring and in preparation for the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener.
Beginning with Hole-in-the-Day Bay near Grand View Lodge, the lake ice will be “logged” by using ice augers and chainsaws to cut 8-foot by 10-foot sections of ice that will then be pulled out of the lake by oxen, the eighth generation of Babe the Blue Ox descendants used for ice-out operations.
Gull Lake is expected to be open by the end of the week.
“Visitors to the Brainerd Lakes Area tell us they are ready for spring-like weather,” said Kathi Nagorski Leary, Brainerd Lakes Chamber Communications Director. “They want to see open water, green grass, and hear birds sing again. It’s been a long winter. So, we thought we’d do our part to give them what they want.”
Volunteers with the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener are excited to be involved and relieved to have open water, especially after the 2013 icy opener in Park Rapids.
This year’s event will be May 8-11, hosted by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber and Grand View Lodge in collaboration with the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce.
“Grand View Lodge prides itself on its commitment to excellence,” said Frank Soukup, Grand View Lodge Director of Marketing, and co-chair of the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener. “We are not going to leave to chance whether ice out will be in time for our Grand fishing opener. Our 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener allows us the opportunity to spotlight one of the finest vacation destination regions in the country. We will not allow ice to stand in the way.”
After the waters of Gull Lake are opened up, snow-making machines, through equipment modifications, will be used to spray warm water in Hole-in-the-Day Bay.
This warm water will maintain the open water until Mother Nature starts to cooperate with the Brainerd Lakes Area by providing spring-like temperatures.
This is an environmentally friendly, green operation.
Water for the rain-making equipment will first be pumped from Gull Lake, warmed through Grand View Lodge’s pool, then sprayed back into Gull Lake.
“We may be delirious from the long winter to try such an adventure,” Leary said. “But we look forward to ice out and want to wish everyone a Happy April Fools’ Day.”
The 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be hosted by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, with Grand View Lodge as headquarters for the event, and in collaboration with the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce. 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.explorebrainerdlakes.com.