Thousands of Minnesota anglers are taking part in this weekend’s fishing opener. Even though many lakes in northern Minnesota are still frozen over, DNR Fisheries Chief Dirk Peterson is optimistic that there will be good fishing where there is open water. There are about 1.2-million licensed anglers in Minnesota. Governor Dayton headed to Park Rapids Friday for the 2013 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, and one of the iciest starts ever to the walleye season. Ice still covers many lakes across the northern third of Minnesota, including some of the state’s premiere walleye lakes. Authorities warn that the ice is not safe, and that anglers should respect the cold water and wear a life vest. The plan had been for Dayton to wet his line on Fish Hook Lake, but organizers were taking him out onto the Fish Hook River instead because of all the ice on the lake. Dayton caught and released the pictured walleye in Park Rapids at 12:25am to open the 2013 fishing season.
Friday’s events included a community picnic and fireworks. KNUJ’s Brian Filzen and Tom Wheeler are reporting from the Governor’s Fishing Opener all weekend, and we’ll have reports from bait shops and resorts around the state throughout the weekend as well as part of our comprehensive fishing opener coverage.