MN-FISH Foundation Hires Former DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten 

Takes over nonprofit’s Executive Director Role

St. Paul, Minn. (March 3, 2022) — Nonprofit MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition announced today it has hired former DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten as the new Executive Director.

He joined the organization March 1.                                                                                        

“Mark’s experience in the Minnesota Legislature and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will help us bring a strong voice for anglers as we seeking bonding money for improvements in our fish hatcheries and boat accesses,” said MN-FISH Foundation president Ron Schara.

Holsten has a strong background in public service. He served as DNR Commissioner for Minnesota 2007-2011 and Deputy Commissioner 2003-2007.

He also served 10 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, chairing both the Environmental and Natural Resources Finance and Regulated Industries committees during his terms. Holsten is a founding member and former chairman of the bi-partisan Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance caucus.

“I’m honored to be working with the MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation to help bring a voice to the “State of Fishing,” said Holsten. “This organization was founded by leading anglers who care about fishing in the state and work hard to ensure all anglers have access to high-quality fishing.”

Holsten replaces Chip Leer, a founding member of MN-Fish Sportfishing Foundation board and the organization’s first executive director.

“MN-Fish is working to enhance the fishing experience in Minnesota,” said Schara. “I encourage all state anglers to join us as we seek great reinvestment into sport fishing.”

Free MN-Fish Foundation memberships are available online at or you can join in person at our booth at the Northwest Sports Show March 10-13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.



MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition is Minnesota’s only non-profit organization formed as two entities in order to represent the interested of all Minnesota anglers and other stakeholders. MN-FISH Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit. Its mission is to restore, protect and enhance Minnesota sportfishing for present and future anglers to enjoy. The c-4 MN-FISH Coalition LLC was founded by the Foundation to become the voice of Minnesota Anglers before the DNR and state legislature on all fishing-related issues. To learn more, visit


833-3MN-FISH (1-833-366-3474)

Steve Pennaz

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