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Park Rapids students catch fishing rewards

Drew Weiss was the winner of a Marcum flasher in the northern pike division. The prize was presented by Greg May, co-owner of Northern Bait.(Submitted photos)1 / 3
Delaney’s co-owner Will Wicks presented crappie division winner Loga Nevela with a $200 gift card.2 / 3
Owen Wagner received a $250 gift card donated by the Smoky Hills Outdoor Store from Jared Hoefs.3 / 3

An ice-fishing contest to encourage students at Park Rapids Area High School to enjoy the outdoors was started in late December by teacher Thomas Coborn. A total of 67 students participated.

"My idea was to give kids more incentive to get off their phones and go outside," Coborn said. "As a teacher, it concerns me that fewer and fewer students are taking part in outdoor activities and more are spending their off-time on social media or playing video games. Some kids spend entire weekends or longer without going outside."

There were three categories of fish, including northerns, crappies and walleyes. Students posted their fish pictures on a shared Instagram account. The contest ended in mid-March.

Winners of each category were awarded prizes donated by Northern Bait, Delaney's Sports and Smokey Hills Outdoor Store. Students were also given a chance to add two inches to their fish if they earned three As, one inch for three Bs and one inch for perfect attendance during winter trimester.

The We Decide committee also donated six $50 gift certificates for a raffle, so anyone who fished was eligible for this prize.

Coborn thanked the contest sponsors on behalf of the students who participated. "Next year, I hope to get more students involved and more sponsors."