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Immerse Yourself In WCCO's MinneCentric Experience

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With Super Bowl events kicking off, WCCO is also excited to show you our own MinneCentric Experience.

Professional athletes, celebrities and Minnesota notables will be stopping by WCCO to try ice fishing on our rooftop.

For every fish caught, a donation will be made to ACES, a local organization that helps reduce the academic achievement gap in the Twin Cities through sports-themed academic programming.

You can't have a real Minnesota ice fishing experience without real fish, but we wanted to make sure we did it right – so we went to the people in Minnesota who know fish the best.

It took a giant crane to hoist up a massive tank and two fish houses on top of the WCCO Studio. And to get the fish there, we turned to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Frank Vascellaro and PJ Fleck Fish On WCCO Rooftop
Frank Vascellaro and PJ Fleck Fish on WCCO's Rooftop (credit: CBS)

"She's like, 'Yeah, you want to help out?' I'm like, 'Wow, this is not the call I was expecting today, to be bringing fish to a rooftop!'" said T.J. Debates, supervisor of the Minnesota DNR East Metro Area Fishery.

The Minnesota DNR delivered 200 rainbow trout to fill up the tank Friday. As some of the notable faces stopped by to take their shot at dropping a line. Vikings legend Bud Grant, Twin Cities sports legend Sid Hartman, Gophers Football Coach P.J. Fleck, Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota Timberwolves veteran John Thomas and WCCO's own Mike Max.

But it is not just trout, which came from the Lanesboro Fish Hatchery. There are also blue gills and perch from up north.

"You guys got those from actually a private aquaculture facility up in Alexandria," Debates said.

It's important to remember you have to have a permit to move fish like this, so you can't just go taking fish from lakes and hauling them off.

"You guys did all the right things. You filled out the paperwork, you filled out the live fish transportation, which if anybody's stocking fish into public waters and the DNR is not involved, they need to get more or less a permit from us."

Even if you have never ice fished before, you won't want to miss all the MinneCentric action to see which familiar face stops by for a truly Minnesota experience.

"It's part of our heritage," Debates said.

So what will happen to the fish when the Super Bowl is over? The DNR plans to take the remaining fish back to a stocking pond at their regional headquarters to use for kids fishing events.

The celebrity guests that come by can fish with or without their own personal fishing license. The DNR granted WCCO a group permit, which is often used for events.

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