Boat Host Information

To apply as a volunteer boat/fishing host, click here.

For a paper registration form, click here.

You can choose to host on the following lakes: Albert Lea LakeBeaver LakeFountain LakePickeral LakeSt. Olaf Lake or another lake of your choosing in the vicinity.

We’re looking for outdoor and fishing enthusiasts to host registered guests for the fishing challenge during the Governor’s Fishing Opener (GFO).  You do not need to be a fishing “expert,”  you just need to have a properly functioning & licensed boat and a willingness to spend some time talking about our great area.

You’ll want to be available in the evenings leading up to the GFO, specifically Thursday evening for the Host Appreciation Dinner & Rules Meeting and possibly Friday evening to meet with your guests and make a plan for the Saturday opener.   Further, you’ll be required to be available on Saturday until approximately 4 p.m.

Before applying, if you have any questions, please email the Boat Host Co-Chair Dick Herfindahl.

The information below is for those who have successfully been approved as a boat host. 

Thank you for volunteering your time to be a boat host for the Governor’s Fishing Opener Event (GFO) on Saturday, May 11, 2019.  We appreciate your willingness to be an ambassador for the Albert Lea Lakes Area.

The Governor’s Fishing Opener Event is in its 72nd year, and  is one of the largest annual media events in Minnesota. We are hosting this event to showcase the Albert Lea Lakes Area. It is a partnership between our greater community and Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state’s tourism promotion agency.   As a boat host, you will be an ambassador of our bodies of water, providing a great day of fishing, and more importantly, providing a reflection of the hospitality of our community.  Your potential guests are members of the media, major sponsors of our event, Governor’s party or special guests.

Your attendance at the Host Dinner is required:

HOST DINNER (Required): 

A rules meeting and appreciation dinner will be held on Thursday, May 9.

We will review the fishing challenge itinerary, guest fishing contacts, and rules of the event.  Explore Minnesota Tourism and Minnesota DNR will provide detailed information.  There is no charge for the meal and there will be a cash bar.  At this meeting you will receive some gifts.

Please be aware that only those individuals registered will be seated for the dinner & receive the gift package.   If you have been selected you will receive a notice via email provided in your application.

Additional Events

Community Picnic – this event is open to the public.

Shore Lunch with your fishing guests is scheduled 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 on the shores of Fountain Lake.  This event is NOT open to the public!  Please do not invite any other guests to meet you at this event.  Fishing guests may want to go out fishing after the shore lunch, some guests may not.  Please be prepared to fish until 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Please Note:  Each year, some fishing guests invite their host to the Saturday night banquet.  Please graciously decline this request.  Due to limited space at the banquet we cannot accommodate all the guests and the fishing hosts.  Please let them know you had a special banquet on Thursday evening and are unable to attend.

If you are coming from out of town:



For more information on Albert Lea.

On behalf of the Albert Lea CVB and Explore Minnesota, we appreciate you giving your time to represent our community.  This event could not happen without volunteers like you!

If you have additional questions, please contact Dick Herfindahl, Boat Host Co-Chair, at 507-383-2231 or or you can contact Susie Petersen, Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau, at 507-373-2316 or

If you have already applied and find you are UNABLE to continue to be a host, it is important that you let us know by April 12.

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