Fishing Season Opening Day Celebration Hits Spicer Saturday
After a seemingly never-ending winter, one sign of the long-awaited change of seasons has arrived: opening day for fishing. To kick off the 2018 angling season, the state tourism promotion office Explore Minnesota is helping host the 71st annual Governor’s Fishing Opener on Saturday.
More than 500,000 anglers are expected to attend this year’s event, which will take place at Green Lake in Spicer. Traditionally hosted by the Governor, the celebration is considered by fishing enthusiasts across the state to be a holiday akin to Christmas and Thanksgiving.
“Fishing is one of the ultimate Minnesota pastimes,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota in a statement. “With thousands of lakes and rivers throughout the state, it provides hours of enjoyment in the outdoors and countless opportunities to create lasting memories with loved ones, both on and off the water.”
With Minnesota being home to more than 11,800 lakes, 69,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 160 species of fish, the state is an attractive destination for anglers and Explore Minnesota credits fishing as a key part of Minnesota’s $15 billion tourism industry. Between $50 million spent each year on bait, $34 million on lures, line and tackle, $8 million on ice and much more on boats, gas and lodging, Minnesota anglers alone are said to spend $1.8 billion annually on fishing — or $1,086 per person on average — according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
The angling opener celebration is coordinated jointly by Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and a designated host community. This year’s event will be kicked off at Green Lake in Spicer and continue throughout the Wilmer Lakes Area.