Fountain Lake Sportsmens Club

Published 9:03 am Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Fountain Lake Sportsmens Club had a busy year and would like to share some of the activities they had this year.

The club began its 30th year with a bang on Superbowl Sunday by participating in Super Hole Sunday at Fountain Lake with the second annual ice fishing contest. Four months of hard work by the club was worth it because 400 people joined in the fun for two hours of hard-water fishing. More than 30 fish were caught, and the winners had some big smiles as they were awarded their prizes. More than $5,000 was raised for the club.

A little later in the year the club put on a winter carnival with the Albert Lea Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce and other groups. The club hosted Take a Kid Ice Fishing Day where the first 50 kids were given an ice fishing combo and bucket, as well as instruction on ice safety, ice fishing techniques and different equipment. The kids even used an old spoon auger to drill an 8-inch hole through 20 inches of ice, a job that took them about an hour.

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The second annual Kids Fishing Expo was on March 27 at Northbridge Mall. There were more than 20 learning stations and activities. More than 200 kids showed up and spent time talking with experts, casting, minnow racing and having a good time.

Also during spring the club did two Adopt-a-Highway cleanups along Minnesota Highway 13. The club also teamed up with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to assist with restocking area lakes and streams.

In June the club hosted a Take a Kid Fishing Day. In keeping with the tradition of the day, it rained. There were more than 250 kids, who caught lots of fish (even several catfish).

Other events for the club included a fish fry in April at the American Legion and a pancake breakfast in July at the Eagles Club. At the Freeborn County Fair the club gained a few members, sold hats and T-shirts and held the drawing for a summer raffle. About $3,500 was raised for the club.

During the summer the day trip fishing outings resulted in more than 100 seniors, 50 ARC members and 150 Boy and Girl Scouts enjoying a few hours of fishing with members of the club.

An episode of “Fishing the Midwest with Bob Jensen” was filmed in Albert Lea this summer. It will air the first quarter of 2011. The Monkey Island bridge project and lake cleanup with the Lakes Foundation each had members of the club involved.

The summer wrapped up with the club’s picnic at Edgewater Park. Through fundraising efforts and generous support of such companies as Diamond Jo Casino, Eagles Club 2258, Leo Carey American Legion Post 56, Walmart, Hayward Fire Department among other companies and private families.

The club hopes members will renew their memberships. Family memberships are $10 annually and individual memberships are $7. The club is hoping for members, not just the money. Most of the events take more manpower than money to run. The club asks that members commit to helping with one event, because making memories with children can last a lifetime. Inactive members are always appreciated as well.

The club would like to thank all members for what they have done in the past, present and future.