Fishing Hosts Information

To apply to volunteer as a fishing host click here.

For a paper registration form click here.

You can choose to host on the following lakes:
Green Lake 
Willmar Lake
Big Kandiyohi Lake 
Diamond Lake
South Long Lake
Nest 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 2018 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 Fishing Host Appreciation Dinner & Rules Meeting and Friday evening for the Fishing Host & Guest Pairing event.   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 Fishing Host Co-Chairs – Laura and Dean Anfinson .

To apply to volunteer as a fishing host click here.

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

Thank you for volunteering your time to be a fishing host for the 2018 Governor’s Fishing Opener Event (GFO) on Saturday, May 12th 2018.  We appreciate your willingness to be an ambassador for the Willmar Lakes Area.

The Governor’s Fishing Opener Event is in its 71st year, and  is one of the largest annual media events in Minnesota. We are hosting this event to showcase the Willmar Lakes Area. It is a partnership between our greater community and Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state’s tourism promotion agency.   As a fishing 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 following two events is required:


A rules meeting and appreciation dinner will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at the Willmar Conference Center located at 240 23rd St SE, Willmar, MN 56201.

Please arrive by 6:15 p.m.

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 your commemorative 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.


There will be a pairing meeting on Friday, May 11, 2018 beginning 7 P.M. at the Willmar Conference Center located at 240 23rd St SE, Willmar, MN 56201. At this event, you will be paired with your fishing guest(s) to make arrangements for the Saturday event.  Please allow at least hours for this meeting.

Please arrive by 6:30 p.m. 

If you are not paired with someone at this meeting, you must agree to be available at Green Lake until 9 a.m. on Saturday morning for last minute arrivals and/or cancellations.  Please make sure to talk with your fishing host co-chairs, Laura and Dean Anfinson, before leaving the pairing meeting.

Additional events

Community Picnic with your family and friends at Robbins Island Park in Willmar, Friday, May 11th beginning at 4:00 p.m before the pairing meeting.

Breakfast with your fishing guests on Saturday morning

Shore Lunch with your fishing guests served from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, 2018 – on the shore of Green 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 fishing 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:

Hotel properties – ****LODGING INFORMATION COMING SOON****


For more information on the Willmar Lakes Area 

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

Additional Questions:

Laura and Dean Anfinson, Fishing Host Co-Chairs – Phone: 320-796-5564 Email:

or Contact:

Beth Fischer, Willmar Lakes Area CVB Phone: 320-235-3552 Email:

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 13th 2018. 

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