Gov. Tim Walz Set to Open Fishing Season with Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Anglers will start to cast their lines tomorrow for the 74th annual Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener.
This event is taking place in the Leech Lake area, and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is working with the governor’s office to ensure the opener’s success.
Gov. Tim Walz arrived at the shores of Cass Lake today to prepare his fishing gear and is hoping to finally catch a walleye this year for the fishing opener. Under the guidance of Grand Rapids fishing guide Tom Neustrom, this will be the first time ever a Minnesota governor has cast their line on Lake Winnibigoshish for the opener.
“You get to see what it takes to make something like this happen,” said Governor Walz about the historic fishing opener. “It’s partnerships.”
“When you understand tribes, you know how important our natural resources are,” said Leech Lake Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson, Sr. “I think the Governor’s thoughts are very similar.”
An evening event was held after the morning gathering to celebrate the uniqueness of the Chippewa National Forest with community leaders.
Events like the fishing opener bring an approximate $8.4 billion in tourism to northern Minnesota. This total includes hotels, bait shops, restaurants and more, bringing an economic boom to the north. The fishing opener brings different people from all over Minnesota to the north woods, promoting the business and activities all while carrying on a long-held tradition.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects the number of fishers to be over half a million this coming weekend. Although there are state regulations on the amount of fish that can be caught, some lakes do have their own regulations. The DNR reminds people to check these rules before heading out onto the water.