The catch? One walleye each for Walz, Flanagan

12 May 2024

LAKE CITY — The haul for Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan at Saturday’s Governor’s Fishing Opener on Lake Pepin? One walleye each.

The traditional opener, begun in 1948, was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s $4.4 billion fishing industry, and in recent years, it has served as an iconic kickoff celebration for the summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate about $16 billion per year in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota.

On Friday, Walz and Flanagan participated in interviews with local press and outdoors outlets across the state, joined a group of fifth grade students at Ohuta Beach Park to learn about fishing, water quality, and wildlife, and presented a Fishing and Water Education Day proclamation, and visited the Department of Natural Resources’ Mussel Lab.

“Minnesota’s fishing opener is special. It’s an exciting and important day for thousands of Minnesotans who are ready to kick off the season, and personally one of my favorite days of the year,” said Governor Walz. “I always look forward to highlighting new communities and this one is an easy sell. An exceptional destination for fishing, a great location for tourism and a beautiful place to put down roots, I cannot speak highly enough of this city. Thank you to our hosts and to everyone who celebrated with us, and happy fishing!”

Flanagan hosted a women’s fishing event and visited Frontenac State Park. Walz and Flanagan also made stops at small businesses in the Lake City area and attended a community celebration.

“Minnesota is defined by its natural resources and exceptional outdoor recreation, and this year’s fishing opener was an excellent reminder of all that the state has to offer,” Flanagan said. “Lake City is a gem, and this year’s fishing opener was extra special, serving as an opportunity to highlight an important message: women currently make up less than 20% of anglers in Minnesota. But we’re ready to change that. Across the state we’re working to increase the number of women involved in fishing and outdoor recreation and this weekend in Lake City was a reminder that outdoor spaces and sports are for everyone. I am so grateful to our hosts and the community for joining us.”

On Saturday, Walz and Flanagan joined the opening day launch ceremony before fishing on Lake Pepin. Afterwards, they joined other anglers for a shore lunch.

“The Lake City area is a prime example of the diversity of fishing opportunities that Minnesota has to offer. Whether you are a long-time angler, newer to the experience, or just want to give it a try, there are abundant options from a boat, kayak, or shore,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “The Governor’s Fishing Opener is not only a wonderful event that highlights communities and celebrates the great tradition of angling in Minnesota, it’s also an opportunity to encourage more women and youth to take up fishing this season.”


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