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Big Sandy Fishing Opener LogoThe Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, being held in the coming year on Big Sandy Lake in McGregor, has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. It was designed to improve Minnesota’s economy through the development and promotion of the state’s recreational opportunities, especially fishing. The first opener was a cooperative promotion between the state’s resort industry, media, and public officials. Today, the emphasis is even broader. It celebrates the kickoff of the summer tourism season. The special partnership continues today with a promotional focus on a host community as well as recreational opportunities statewide.

Latest News:

  • Media Kit
    Includes: Explore Minnesota Tourism and Economy Fact Sheet | 2016 Minnesota Travel Guide | Explore Minnesota Media Room | Minnesota Fishing Is the Reel Deal | Minnesota Fishing Resources | #MNGFO2016 Social Media One-Sheet | Celebrate Unique Experiences Found #OnlyinMN
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  • Oldest Mail Carrier in Minnesota?
    Bill Onstad has been delivering mail to the Tamarack area (near McGregor) since the 1960s. It’s been so long, even he doesn’t remember. The million-dollar question is whether Bill is the oldest postal carrier in Minnesota or possibly the United States. These statistics are unavailable, however, at the age of 96, chances are, he is ...
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  • Well-known Author Hails from McGregor
    Cheryl Strayed, well known for her book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, turned movie “Wild“, hails from small-town McGregor, Minnesota. Strayed’s “Wild” ride started in McGregor where she spent the majority of her formative years. Those years were featured heavily in the book and serve as the back story for ...
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  • Camp Life
    The week or weekend away at “camp” can provide an introduction to a new area.  The McGregor area is home to several these well-known camps, where people make memories for a lifetime. Big Sandy Camp is located under the beautiful pine trees on the shore of Big Sandy Lake. Our motto and goal is ‘Touching Hearts ...
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  • Top 10 Reasons to Visit McGregor
    Wildlife is abundant in the McGregor-Big Sandy Lake area. There’s an excellent chance of seeing bald eagles, loons, turkey, a timber wolf, whitetail deer, bear, wolves, fox, beaver, otter, weasels, osprey, swans, grouse, or moose. Home of Savanna Portage State Park, Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Army Corps of Engineers – Sandy Lake Dam. Pristine lakes, ...
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  • Cartoonist finds McGregor area the perfect place
    Sleuths who watched Shaggy, Scooby and the gang solve mysteries or saw Tom and Jerry, the cute and quirky Smurfs, Flintstone Kids, Pound Puppies or My Little Pony and Friends can thank Joel Seibel, who has been bringing these characters to life through the art of animation for nearly 50 years. While directing the pilot for the animated TV series Flipper, Seibel ...
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  • Minnesota’s Governor’s Fishing Opener Celebrates 69 Years
    For the first time ever, the 69th annual Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be hosted by the McGregor Area Chamber of Commerce, with Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort as headquarters, on May 12-14. Located two hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the McGregor and Big Sandy Lake area is known for its natural attractions and outdoor ...
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  • Minnesota Fishing Is the Reel Deal
    Fishing is a time-honored tradition in Minnesota, with an opening day (May 14 this year) that ranks up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving for many families. The state’s great fishing starts with its many diverse bodies of water. The moniker “Land of 10,000 Lakes”—a considerable understatement—only hints at that variety. In fact, Minnesota has more ...
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  • Top 10 Instagram Worthy Spots
    Savanna State Park – Continental Divide Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge – Twin Towers Observation Deck Top of the Fire Tower in Shamrock Township Big Sandy Lake Overlook & Historical Site Hole #5 – Minnesota National Golf Course Army Corps of Engineers Libby Dam From the deck of Big Sandy Lodge & Resort overlooking Davis Bay In front of the School House ...
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  • McGregor 4th graders experience ice fishing as a warm-up to Governor’s Fishing Opener
    Long before the walleye opener in May, 4th grade students at McGregor Elementary have been busy preparing for the event by learning about fish families, water quality and fish habitat through a series of school outreach visits by the DNR’s MinnAqua education specialist, Katie Fritz. On a cool morning in mid-February, students participated in classroom ...
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  • Save the Date for the 69th Annual Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener
    Mark your calendars for the 2016 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener on Big Sandy Lake in the McGregor area, May 12—14, 2016. For the first time ever, the 69th annual Governor's Fishing Opener will be hosted by the McGregor Area Chamber of Commerce, with Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort as headquarters.
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  • Northwoods ATV Trails
    Aitkin County is host to the Northwood’s ATV Trail system, a premier ATV trail system in the Midwest.  Over 220 miles of connected, marked and maintained ATV Trails follow through northern Minnesota’s forest’s and lakes region.  Riders can experience the Soo Line trail or some of the more rugged loop and connector trails on the ...
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  • McGregor Area Chamber Fishing Contest
    On the first Saturday every June for the last 31 years, the McGregor Area Chamber of Commerce has held its annual fishing tournament on Big Sandy Lake and Lake Minnewawa . Prize money totals $5,000, based on 100 teams entered. First place prizes in the tournament are $1,200 for the largest northern total and $1,200 for ...
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  • Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge
    The Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located five miles south of McGregor on Hwy. 65. Established in 1935, the refuge preserves the environment for waterfowl, which are attracted to the wild rice crop on the lake. Archaeological evidence suggests that people have been harvesting rice on the lake since prehistoric times. The refuge extends a ...
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  • McGregor to Host 2016 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener
    EXPLORE MINNESOTA TOURISM – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contact: Alyssa Ebel, Explore Minnesota, 651-757-1857 ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 9, 2015) – Next year’s Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be held on Big Sandy Lake in the McGregor area, May 12-14, 2016. This will be the first time in the history of the Governor’s Fishing Opener that the ...
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