DNR Fisheries Chief says cold water will play a role in fishing opener

May 08, 2019 07:16 PM

An estimated 500,000 anglers will take to the water and wet a line during Minnesota's fishing opener Saturday.

And success can be weather dependent.  


But Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Chief Brad Parsons says fishing should be pretty good.

"I think the state of fishing is excellent right now," Parsons said. "It does look like it might be a little breezy - call it the walleye chop or whatever folks want to.

"But we expect it to be a good opener."

KSTP's Fishing Opener Guide

According to Parsons, the ice went out a little later on Minnesota lakes this spring. But it's nothing like 2018 when there was snow in late April and ice went out right before the opener.

Still, Parsons reminds everyone to be prepared for cold water.

"Always wear your life jacket," he said. "Utilize kill switches and stuff like that. Just be smart and be safe out there. Most of all have fun, especially if you are taking a kid fishing."

Cold water also means you might have to try a little harder.

"It means that the walleyes will probably be a little bit more finicky," Parsons said. "The females in particular haven't quite recovered from the spawning. Spawning does seem to be done all around the state for the walleyes and northern pike. Our egg takes for our hatcheries went very, very well this year."

Parsons has tadvice for angler having a hard time finding fish.  

"I would encourage people if you're out there chasing walleyes or pike and maybe they're not cooperating, don't be afraid to go in," he said. "You know, find maybe a protected, warm bay and utilize some of the pan fish opportunities as well."

Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism promotion office, and Gov. Tim Walz will kick off the 2019 season Saturday in Albert Lea.

Minnesota's governor has honored the tradition since 1948. Each year, the event is hosted by the current governor, Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota DNR and a new host community. 

The 72nd annual Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener will take place on Fountain Lake.

"In the beautiful Albert Lea area, Fountain Lake offers great fishing and travel opportunities," Walz said. "I thank the community for hosting this 72nd annual Minnesota tradition, and look forward to opening this year's summer fishing season."


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Kevin Doran

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