It’s the weekend that Minnesota anglers have been waiting for…the opening of the 2014 fishing season. The action begins Saturday, and DNR Fisheries Chief Don Periera says that besides being a popular recreational activity, fishing is also big business in Minnesota. He says the US fish and wildlife service has to do surveys every five years, and the last survey indicated that sport angling contributes about $2.4 billion to the state economy, so it is very significant. He also says that it’s important to note that it’s disproportionally important in rural Minnesota where we don’t have the economic vitality that we might have in the metro area, so it’s big business in Minnesota. About 500,000 people are expected to fish on opening day of the walleye and northern pike season on Saturday. KNUJ will again be bringing you comprehensive coverage of the Fishing Opener, with reports from the Governor’s Fishing Opener at Gull Lake.
The Department of Natural Resources has rolled out a new Fish Minnesota website just in time for Saturday’s fishing opener. The DNR says it makes information easier to access and easier to understand, especially when it comes to regulations. The agency has also made enhancements for those who access its popular LakeFinder site from desktop computers or mobile devices. Lake-specific fishing regulations and other data appear by simply typing in the lake’s name. DNR officials say the new site puts all the information an angler needs in the palm of their hand, whether it’s buying a license online, looking up a regulation, getting lake depth contours or checking fish consumption health guidelines. The site is located at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn.