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Otter Tail County to Host 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener

ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 11, 2019) — Next year’s Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be held May 7-10 in Otter Trail County, with Thumper Pond Resort serving as event headquarters.

Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism promotion office, organizes this event each year in coordination with a host community. The 73rd annual Governor’s Fishing Opener will be hosted by a committee of volunteers from Otter Tail County.

“Otter Tail County offers terrific fishing,” said Governor Tim Walz. “Thank you to all the community leaders for hosting this Minnesota tradition. I’m excited to kick off the summer fishing season in central Minnesota and I can’t wait to get out on the lake.”

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. Comprised of rolling prairie lands—and the most lakes (1,048) in any U.S. county, including the largest area lake, Otter Tail Lake—this destination offers a true small-town Minnesota experience.

“Otter Tail County is a classic lakeside Minnesota getaway,” said John Edman, director/CEO of Explore Minnesota. “Our organization is incredibly excited to work with these friendly, energetic communities on one of our biggest cooperative promotional events of the year.”

Otter Tail County lakes are as diverse as the fish that live in them, including walleye, yellow perch, northern pike and sturgeon. Visitors can fish, swim, paddle and boat on this 14,000-acre body of water. Nearby Glendalough State Park and Trail, Maplewood State Park and Inspiration Peak, the highest point in the county, offer additional recreation.

“Otter Tail County is honored to be hosting the 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener,” says Nick Leonard, external relations director with Otter Tail County. “We are excited to celebrate the extensive angling opportunities in the county. Our goal is to carry on the rich tradition of the Governor’s Fishing Opener, while making the 73rd annual event one to remember.”

The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as an iconic kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $15.3 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually.

The Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener provides the host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing and other travel activities, attractions and points of interest. Media from throughout the Midwest region attend the event, resulting in significant publicity for the host community and Minnesota as a whole.

The Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener is organized by Explore Minnesota with a volunteer host committee, and supported by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the many sponsors that make the event possible. More information about the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener is available at

About Explore Minnesota
As the state’s tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state’s tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. Tourism is a $15.3 billion industry in Minnesota, and a key sector of the state’s economy. The leisure and hospitality industry—a major provider of tourism services—employs more than 270,000 workers, representing 11 percent of Minnesota’s private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 18 percent of the state’s sales tax revenues. Minnesota welcomes more than 73 million domestic and international travelers annually. A video highlighting Minnesota’s tourism and economic impact can be viewed here.

Find Your True North at, and share it with @exploreminn on Twitter, or @exploreminnesota on Instagram and Facebook, using #OnlyinMN.


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