Welcome to our the Winona Area Chapter

The Greater Area of Winona Let’s Go Fishing started in 2011. We made 34 trips and took out over 300 people just to have fun outings or fishing trips. This would not have been possible without the donations, and contributions from businesses, individuals, and volunteers. We are a 501 (C) 3 Non-profit organization that really needs your help and support to continue its mission. Your time and/or tax-deductible donation will be greatly appreciated.

LGF had a resident who moved from a nursing home to an assisted living. This was a very difficult move for him because he wanted to go back to his home, which was not possible because of his physical issues. This resident was very depressed and wasn’t sure he wanted to go on living. When he was really down in the dumps and thinking of all his losses and things he could no longer do, one way of helping him was to remind him of the things he hadn’t lost like his family and friends. Along with counting his blessings, there were many new experiences he had to look forward to in the coming months. This gentleman had been a fisherman all his life and even had some of his catches mounted and hung on the wall of his room at the home. The night before his first outing of the summer, he told every caregiver to make sure he was up on time so he could be ready for the big fishing trip. When the maintenance man got to work at 6 am the morning of the trip, there was the resident sitting out front with his fishing vest, hat and boots on!! When he asked him what he was doing up so early, he smiled and said “I’m going fishing today!” The trip wasn’t for 3 more hours, but the anticipation and excitement of the trip was just as important.

Thank you for caring and sharing in making our free outings rewarding, memorable days in the lives of so many people that have no other way to go fishing or just to enjoy boating on the Mississippi river.

Meet the Team

We are a team of dedicated volunteers, ready to do what ever it takes to help you enjoy your time with us

Dave Rowekamp

Dave Rowekamp

President and Captain
Jean Dowd

Jean Dowd

VP, Captain, and Mate

Jean has been active in LGF for over a year, serving as webmaster for both web sites.

Malia Fox

Malia Fox

LGF Secretary

Director Winona Friendship Center – 21 years
Registered Music Therapist
Adjunct Professor Gerontology WSU
Member of numerous no-profit boards in Winona serving older adults and youth

Steve Flad

Steve Flad

LGF Treasure

Steve is a practicing CPA licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He holds a BBA in Business Administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.
His partner in business and in life is his wife Mary, also a CPA, holding a BBS in Accounting from Winona State University. Together they have been operating Flad Ltd. for over 36 years.
The Kids, Becky and Bob are all grown up and on their own which leaves them with more time for golf.

John Paulson

John Paulson

Director of Safety and Training and Captain

John often plays his saxophone for passengers. He performs with his group at Signatures and other venues in the area.
John Paulson earned his B.M. and Master of Music degrees from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and his D.M.A. in music education from the University of Washington in Seattle. He studied flute and clarinet with players in the Utah Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, jazz arranging with Henry Wolking and Jan Kanopasek and studied jazz improvisation on sax and flute with famed improvisation teachers Garry Dial, and Dave Liebman. His jazz groups have performed throughout the Midwest for over 30 years and he has performed internationally with jazz groups from Saint Mary‘s University where he retired from over 30 years of full time teaching in 2012. He is now an adjunct instructor at Saint Mary’s and Winona State Universities in Winona, MN. As a freelance artist, Dr. Paulson has performed with The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Mel Torme, Andy Williams, Bob Hope, The Temptations, Johnny Mathis, and The Pioneer Memorial and Repertory Dance Theatres in Salt Lake City. In the last 15 years, he has produced six commercial jazz CD‘s and done 5 Master class CD’s for the Saxophone Journal. His CD‘s have received airplay and excellent reviews throughout the Midwest. These CD’s are available at www.cdbaby.com and iTunes plus numerous digital download and streaming sites.

Merle Matzke

Merle Matzke

Fishing Instructor

Merle heads the Fishing Program for Kids where Let’s Go Fishing goes to the classroom to teach 4th graders to fish. He is spending his retirement traveling. He went to Alaska last year.