Statewide contest calls on kids to create a big walleye

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, along with the Minneapolis-Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee, on Friday launched the CivicFest Walleye School of Fish Competition, a statewide artistic competition open to Minnesota students interested in designing a 4-foot birch flat-board walleye decorated with materials specific to individual U.S. states or territories. Pawlenty announced plans for the competition from the Governor&8217;s Fishing Opener in Breezy Point.

Winning designs will be displayed in an exhibit at CivicFest: A Very Minnesota Celebration, which will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center Aug. 29-Sept. 4, in conjunction with the 2008 Republican National Convention.

&8220;Fishing and spending time outdoors with family and friends is part of Minnesota&8217;s heritage,&8221; Pawlenty said. &8220;The Walleye School of Fish Competition is a great fit with the mission of CivicFest &8212; to provide an educational and entertaining experience for visitors &8212; in a uniquely Minnesota way.&8221;

Email newsletter signup

At the Governor&8217;s Fishing Opener this morning, Pawlenty displayed a 4-foot wooden walleye, decorated with a map of Minnesota and fishing lures, representing the more than 10,000 lakes in the state and the 2.3 million individuals that go fishing on those lakes annually.

&8220;We developed this competition so students throughout Minnesota could have the opportunity to participate in CivicFest and to learn about other states and territories,&8221; said Jeff Larson, CEO of the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee. &8220;The Walleye School of Fish Competition would not be possible without the generous support of our exhibit sponsor. The Travelers Companies, Inc., who has been committed to supporting local civic and nonprofit organizations in St. Paul.

Their sponsorship of the Walleye School of Fish Competition is an example of their continued commitment to the local community.&8221;

Students in grades seven and above in the 2008-09 school year are invited to choose a state or territory in the United States and research cultures, symbols, industries and events associated with that area, as well as develop a two-sided design on a paper walleye silhouette. The silhouette is available online at The walleye was chosen because it is Minnesota&8217;s State Fish.

Additional details about the CivicFest Walleye School of Fish competition are available online at