The 2018 Minnesota Fishing Opener begins Saturday, May 12. Here's a guide to this year's opener, including what you need to know about the event and how to prepare.


Ahead of the Opener

Purchase a fishing license. Anglers between the ages of 16 and 89 must have a valid fishing license, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Licenses can be purchased at any DNR license agent, online or by calling 888-665-4236.


Understand regulations. Anglers planning to take part in the fishing opener are asked to understand the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet, particularly noting special regulations that apply to individual lakes, rivers and streams in the state.


Track ice-out conditions. Lingering winter-like weather this year has delayed ice-out on state lakes and rivers, according to the DNR. As a result, the department noted difficulty in preparing all public water access in time for the opener. Additionally, some rivers and lakes are at flood level, with reports of high water levels and no-wake zones. Track water access here.


During the Opener

Report fish kills. The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center is asking anglers and those participating in fishing opener events to report any fish kills they come across. Center officials say fish kill events provide information about ecosystem-level issues. Report fish kills here.


Fishing Opener Events

Thursday, May 10 - Sunday, May 13: 71st Annual Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener. This year's Governor's Fishing Opener will take place in the Willmar Lakes Area. Information about events part of the Governor's Fishing Opener can be found here.


Saturday, May 12 - Sunday, May 13: Take a Mom Fishing Weekend. Sunday, May 13 is Mother's Day and the fishing opener doubles as "Take a Mom Fishing Weekend," according to the DNR. Mothers who are also residents of Minnesota can fish without a license both Saturday and Sunday this year. Fishing for species part of the open fishing season regulation is allowed.


Fishing Opener Weather and Traffic

Planning to partake in the fishing opener?


Track weather conditions via the maps below, and be sure to watch 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS for the latest weather reports.


Avoid traffic jams as a result of the busy fishing opener weekend by checking the KSTP traffic map for road conditions:

Send Us Your Fishing Opener Pics and Video!

Do you have photos or video you'd like to share of your fishing opener experience? Send them to us via this link.


DNR shoots, kills bear in North St. Paul

Safety board urges updates to study after refinery explosion

Noor testifies about training after taking stand in his own defense