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BSU to host Beaver Freeze on Jan. 27

A group of BSU students patiently wait for a fish to bite during the Beaver Freeze Ice Fishing Tournament last January on Lake Bemidji. (Pioneer file photo)1 / 2
Baylee Johnson, one of the event organizers of the Beaver Freeze Ice Fishing Tournament, measures a northern pike inside the Fossil Fuel-Free Fish House during the tournament last year on Lake Bemidji. (Pioneer file photo)2 / 2

BEMIDJI—Ice fishing enthusiasts are invited to Bemidji's Diamond Point Park on Saturday, Jan. 27, to participate in the second annual "Beaver Freeze" tournament, co-hosted by BSU's Outdoor Program Center and Department of Campus Recreation, the school said Friday.

The tournament begins at noon on Lake Bemidji, near Diamond Point Park, and is scheduled to end at 3 p.m. The tournament is open to anglers of all ages, and pre-registration is open at BSU's Gillett Wellness Center. Registration costs are $25; BSU students can register for $20 and children age 10 and younger are $10. Participants are allowed to bring personal portable fish houses and must supply their own bait.

Holes will be drilled by tournament staff, the release said.

Baylee Johnson, senior aquatic biology student from Bemidji, and Anthony Orttel, a senior science major from East Bethel, Minn., both Outdoor Program Center student workers, are again coordinating the event after helping establish it a year ago.

"We encourage anyone that loves to ice fish to come out," Johnson said in a release.

Last year's inaugural tournament drew 75 participants, and the OPC is hoping an abundance of prizes donated by Reeds Family Outdoor Outfitters in Walker, will encourage increased participation this year.

In addition to providing tournament prizes, Reeds also will have a retail shop in BSU's Hardwater Ice Lab on Lake Bemidji, featuring partners and vendors for demonstrations, the release said.

Event organizers will set aside a portion of the tournament's proceeds to fund a scholarship for BSU students.

BSU's Fossil Fuel-Free Fish House will also be featured during the event as anglers will bring their fish to the house to be measured. The house, which is being made available for BSU students to rent through the OPC, first originated from an idea in 2014 to use the university's unique relationship with Lake Bemidji to showcase solar energy's potential, the release said.

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