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Minnesota Calls Off Governor's Fishing Opener

Minnesota Calls Off Governor's Fishing Opener
The 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday announced that the state’s 2020 Governor’s Fishing Opener has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

An annual tradition since 1948, the event was slated to take place May 7-10 in Otter Tail County in the west-central part of the state and home to more lakes (1,048) than any other county in the U.S. Next year’s event is scheduled for May 6-9 in Otter Tail County.

Despite the event’s postponement, the state’s 2020 fishing season will still open on May 9.

“Thanks to Otter Tail County community leaders for your diligent planning efforts around this time-honored Minnesota tradition,” said Gov. Walz. “While our event together must be postponed, I still plan to enjoy the 2020 summer angling season using safe social distancing on one of our state’s 11,842 lakes, and I look forward to 2021 Opener festivities in Otter Tail County.”


Each year, the Governor’s Fishing Opener provides the host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing and other travel activities, attractions and points of interest. Opener festivities are organized by Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a Minnesota host community and many sponsors that make the event possible.


“Explore Minnesota has enjoyed working with the enthusiastic Otter Tail County community and we are all eager to pick up planning efforts for a great 2021 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener,” said John Edman, Explore Minnesota director. “This is an incredibly difficult time, but our state’s tourism industry is resilient and strong. Together we will overcome this crisis and we’ll be here when residents and visitors are ready to ‘explore’ Minnesota again.”

The 2020 fishing season will still open on May 9 and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources continues important work managing the state’s fisheries and other natural resources.

“We’re pleased to let anglers across the state know that the 2020 season will open as planned,” said Sarah Strommen, DNR commissioner. “We encourage anglers to start planning for new ways to enjoy the tradition of the Minnesota Fishing Opener close to home and in ways that also protect public health.”

The DNR urges anglers to use good judgement when choosing where to fish this season.


“While we want people to enjoy outdoor activity to maintain health and wellbeing, we’re asking anglers to forgo travel to their favorite fishing spot and instead fish close to home to contain the spread of COVID-19. We also want to remind anglers to maintain social distancing at boat landings,” said Commissioner Strom.

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