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The 34th annual Women Anglers of Minnesota tournament will be held on June 4 on Fish Hook Lake. Females interested in participating can register at womenanglersmn.com, but entries are due by May 20. (Submitted photo)

Women anglers to return to Fish Hook

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outdoors Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Even though the ice hasn't melted from our north country lakes, the Women Anglers of Minnesota (WAM) are gearing up for this summer's 34th annual tournament on Fish Hook Lake, scheduled for June 4.

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Any female angler 16-years-old or more may register to participate in the multi-species event. Each boat must have a minimum of two anglers. Categories for various species include walleye, northern pike, bass, crappie, sunfish and an optional rock bass "fun pot."

A properly completed and signed official tourney application for 2011 must be received by Women Anglers of Minnesota no later than Friday May 20, to fish the 2011 tournament. Once capacity of 150 participants or no more than 75 boats is reached, the tournament will be deemed full and all additional applications will be returned. No boat will be officially registered until all partners in that boat have paid their tournament fees.

Tournament and membership applications in addition to official rules can be found online at www.womenanglersmn.com.

Ease off positions will be determined by draw on Friday June 3 at 6 p.m. at the Park Rapids American Legion. At least one competitor from each boat must attend to receive all needed materials and information.

On June 4, check-in will start at 4:50 a.m. Each boat will be validated on an official check-off list by an official shore crewmember and sent to the holding area. All boats will be released at 5:30 a.m., seconds apart, one by one in the order assigned upon registration. If you miss your assigned position, you will be placed at the end of the line. It is not mandatory that any official tournament participant has to start at 5:30. If anglers choose to start fishing the event at a later time, they may do so.

Women Anglers of Minnesota was incorporated in 1977 as a way for women to fish together. It remains the oldest active fishing organization for women in the country.

Their Mission Statement, as posted on their website, states that WAM provides opportunities for women to participate in the sport of fishing, improve their fishing skills, and to fish for a variety of species. WAM provides opportunities for the friendly exchange of ideas and techniques.

WAM promotes respect for fish and encourages catch and release. They provide support to the Department of Natural Resources, promote adherence to conservation, boating and fishing regulations, provide information on the achievements and roles of women in the sport of fishing and participate in fishing related activities in the community.

The Women Anglers of Minnesota's return to Fish Hook Lake is a testament to both the fishery and the community.

Women Anglers of Minnesota secretary Kristen Merwin says, "We enjoy coming back to Fish Hook Lake because of the community. The local businesses and residents are very supportive of our organization and who can argue the beautiful setting in which Fish Hook Lake is surrounded."

For more information on this summer's WAM event, contact Julie at 612-390-2808.

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