Minnesota Anglers Building Stronger Voice

New MN-FISH Foundation & Coalition working to enhance Minnesota sport fishing.

ST. PAUL, MN (March 19, 2019) – A new nonprofit grassroots fishing organization is launching this month. Its mission: enhance fishing in Minnesota by increasing state investment into fisheries and fishing-related programs.

And all 1.8 million Minnesota anglers – and anyone who fishes the Land of 10,000 Lakes – are invited to join in.

MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition is a new 501c3 nonprofit organization formed to bring a strong, unified voice to St. Paul to represent the interests of Minnesota anglers and other stakeholders. The organization is exhibiting March 21-24 at the Northwest Sport Show in Minneapolis this month to share its mission, field questions, and solicit new members to the organization.

“Here’s chance to stop by and meet famed anglers like Ron Schara, Al Lindner and Babe Winkleman,” said group Vice President John Peterson, “and become a member of this exciting new organization that is already making a difference in St. Paul.”

Individual, club and benefactor memberships are all available, including free, 2-year Charter Memberships for individual adult and youth anglers.

“For far too long, Minnesota anglers have lacked a strong voice in the legislature or DNR to promote good fishing programs and policies,” said MN-FISH Foundation president Ron Schara. “Our goal is simple: to improve fishing opportunities in Minnesota and shorten the time between bites.”

With more than 10,000 lakes and 69,000 miles of rivers and streams, Minnesota is truly the “State of Fishing”. Recreational fishing in Minnesota supports more than 27,000 state jobs and generates a whopping $4.2 billion dollars in economic impact to our state’s economy, including $271 million annually in state taxes!

Photo courtesy of St. Croix Rod

But the news isn’t all good. Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams are under constant attack from habitat loss, lakeshore development, invasive species and increased fishing pressure. The combination is lowering catch rates and overall enjoyment of the sport.

We are also witnessing a major decline in kid/youth fishing participation at a time when many state anglers are aging.

State anglers and stakeholders are invited to stop by booth 716 at the Northwest Sport Show to learn how they can support the MN-FISH Foundation. Prizes, including lures from Minnesota companies Rapala, Clam Out-doors, and Northland Fishing Tackle will be given to all who sign up for a MN-FISH Foundation membership. There’s even a chance to win the grand prize…a week’s stay at popular Trapper’s Landing Resort on Leech Lake!


  1. Bring a strong, unified voice to St. Paul representing our anglers and fishing industry stakeholders before the State Legislature and DNR regarding all things fishing.
  2. Seek greater state reinvestment of the $271 million in annual state and local taxes derived from Minnesota’s $4.2 billion fishing and marine industry back into sport fishing.
  3. Advocate, protect and restore aquatic fish habitat and spawning areas in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams.
  4. Support scientific and common-sense fish management for all gamefish species, and review DNR fish stocking policies and management programs to maximize anglers’ success.
  5. Seek funding and assist in expanding the Minnesota Fishing Museum/Hall-of-Fame/Education Center facility and programs.
  6. Advocate and promote youth fishing recruitment and fishing programs in school curriculums to sus-tain the next generation of anglers.
  7. Promote the economics of fishing in Minnesota that creates more jobs, tourism, and tax dollars to stimulate our fishing economy.
  8. Sponsorship benefits include visibility on MN-FISH website, eligibility for MN-FISH Benefit Rewards Program discounts, a window/boat decal, month e-newsletter access and invites to all special events.
  9. Donors making contributions of $10,000 or more will receive additional benefit of a plaque at our annual MN-FISH Awards Banquet along with name recognition on the MN-FISH Headquarters “Wall-of-Fame”.
  10. Platinum sponsors will receive the additional benefit of naming rights on Hall-of-Fame press releases and headquarters building for a period of five years.

About MN-FISH Foundation & Coalition founders/board of directors: Ron Schara/President, John Peterson/V.P., Dave Osborne/Treasurer, Chip Leer/Secretary, Tom Mackin, Steve Pennaz, Babe Winkelman, Frankie Dusenka, Jeff Arnold, Dick Sternberg, Tom Neustrom, Craig Wilson, Jay Pederson and Garry Leaf. For more information, dial 1-833-366-3474.


Steve Pennaz

Board of Directors


John Peterson

Vice President