The 71st Annual Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be held May 10-13, 2018 in the Willmar Lakes Area, including the communities of Willmar, Spicer, and New London.
To our Media Guests
We look forward to being your hosts for the weekend and introducing you to all the sights and sounds of the Willmar Lakes Area! We’ve planned a wide variety of Tours and Activities we think you’ll really enjoy, plus we’ve compiled some unique Story Ideas that will give you a glimpse into the lives of the friendly, diverse, and hardworking people who are proud to call this place home. Register today!
To our Sponsors
Thank you so much for your support! We invite you to take advantage of your full Sponsor package and be our honored guest throughout the weekend. Please register each person from your group who will be attending. Visit our Registration page for more details.
To our Community Members
There are a variety of ways you can help make the 2018 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener a resounding success!
- Buy a raffle ticket! Purchase your $10 raffle ticket at The Fan Zone in the Kandi Mall, at the Willmar Convention and Visitor’s Office, or from any member of the Executive Committee. All proceeds go to help cover the cost of the event. Prizes will be drawn on the evening of May 12th.
- Grand Prize — 2018 Tracker Pro Guide V175 with trailer and Mercury 150 outboard motor ($31,000 value!)
- 2nd Prize — Traeger Pro 22 Pellet Grill
- 3rd Prize — Yeti Package
- Be a Fishing Host! If you have a registered boat and are willing to take a few of our guests out on the water for the Governor’s Fishing Challenge, consider this unique opportunity! All Fishing Hosts receive a generous commemorative package. Spots are filling quickly, so please visit our Fishing Hosts page for more details or to register. (Note, all Fishing Hosts must also register for the event on our Registration page.)
- Volunteer! We are currently building a team of 80+ friendly volunteers and ambassadors to help throughout the weekend. If you’re interested in volunteering, please visit our Community page for more details!
- Join us for Rockin’ Robbins Fishin’ Edition! The Willmar Rotary Club has added a fifth concert to their popular Rockin’ Robbins summer concert series, just for the Governor’s Fishing Opener! Rockin’ Robbins Fishin’ Edition takes place out at Robbins Island on Friday, May 11th from 4:30 PM to 8 PM. You’ll enjoy a free picnic meal, meet representatives from the Governor’s Office, and be entertained by one of the region’s most talented and entertaining stage bands — the Dam Jammers! Mark your calendar and spread the word!Download an event flyer…
Enjoy a picnic meal, concert, and show-off your hometown pride as we kick off the 2018 Fishing Opener in the Willmar Lakes Area! Bring a lawn chair and come prepared for any weather conditions. Free picnic meals will be served to the first 3,000 attendees.
This event is free and open to the public, so please spread the word!
FREE CONCERT • FREE COMMUNITY PICNIC • FREE SHUTTLE • FREE KIDS ACTIVITIES • EXHIBITORS • BEER/WINE TENT
About the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener
The Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener 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.