Governor Tim Walz announced today that the 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener has been postponed to May 6-9, 2021. The 73rd annual event was previously slated to be held May 7-10, 2020 in Otter Tail County but appropriate event action has been taken to curve the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the Governor’s Fishing Opener event postponement, the 2020 fishing season will still open on May 9.
Located in west-central Minnesota, Otter Tail is one of the largest counties in the state at more than 2,200 square miles, made up of 11 percent water and 22 communities. It’s comprised of the most lakes (1,048) in any U.S. county, including Otter Tail Lake.
“Thanks to Otter Tail County community leaders for your diligent planning efforts around this time-honored Minnesota tradition,” said Governor Tim Walz. “While our event together must be postponed, I still plan to enjoy the 2020 summer angling season using safe social distancing on one of our state’s 11,842 lakes, and I look forward to 2021 Opener festivities in Otter Tail County.”
The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a Minnesota tradition since 1948. Each year, the event provides a new host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing and other travel activities, attractions and points of interest. Opener festivities are organized by Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a Minnesota host community and many sponsors that make the event possible.
“Explore Minnesota has enjoyed working with the enthusiastic Otter Tail County community and we are all eager to pick up planning efforts for a great 2021 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener,” said John Edman, Explore Minnesota director. “This is an incredibly difficult time, but our state’s tourism industry is resilient and strong. Together we will overcome this crisis and we’ll be here when residents and visitors are ready to ‘explore’ Minnesota again.”
The 2020 fishing season will still open on May 9 and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources continues important work managing the state’s fisheries and other natural resources.
“We’re pleased to let anglers across the state know that the 2020 season will open as planned,” said Sarah Strommen, DNR commissioner. “We encourage anglers to start planning for new ways to enjoy the tradition of the Minnesota Fishing Opener close to home and in ways that also protect public health.”
The DNR urges anglers to use good judgement when choosing where to fish this season. “While we want people to enjoy outdoor activity to maintain health and wellbeing, we’re asking anglers to forgo travel to their favorite fishing spot and instead fish close to home to contain the spread of COVID-19. We also want to remind anglers to maintain social distancing at boat landings,” said Commissioner Strommen.
More information about the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener and 2020 Minnesota Fishing season is available at mngovernorsopener.com and dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.