FAQ

Why does Minnesota hold a Governor’s Fishing Opener each year?

The 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 kick off of the summer tourism season. The special partnership continues today with a promotional focus on a host community as well as recreational opportunities statewide. Fishing is not forgotten, and is clearly still the main promotion of the event. For more history of the event, visit the Minnesota Historical Society by clicking here

How many years has the Opener been held?

According to our best records, the event started in 1948. The tradition continues with the 70th event in the Greater St. Cloud area and the Mississippi River.

Who can attend?

Explore Minnesota Tourism and the host community extend invitations to media representatives to attend the event to increase publicity for the area, fishing and other recreational opportunities. In the past, Minnesota, midwest and international media have attended the event. This event also serves as the kick off to the summer season.

While most activities are for invited guests, the community picnic is open to the general public, and includes a free picnic dinner, family fun activities, and a program. Area residents are encouraged to participate in this portion of the event.

How can a community host the Governor’s Fishing Opener Event?

To receive information about hosting the 2018 event, contact Beth Helle at 651-757-1872 or 888-629-6466. Email: beth.helle@state.mn.us

What communities have hosted this event?

(To see a complete list, click here )

  • 1983 – Ely
  • 1984 – Onamia
  • 1985 – Faribault
  • 1986 – Bemidji
  • 1987 – Fairmont
  • 1988 – Detroit Lakes
  • 1989 – Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point
  • 1990 – Grand Rapids/Hill City
  • 1991 – Onamia
  • 1992 – Alexandria
  • 1993 – Brainerd area
  • 1994 – International Falls
  • 1995 – Willmar
  • 1996 – Bemidji
  • 1997 – Fergus Falls
  • 1998 – Red Wing
  • 1999 – Grand Rapids
  • 2000 – Crane Lake
  • 2001 – Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point
  • 2002 – International Falls
  • 2003 – Detroit Lakes
  • 2004 – Baudette/Lake of the Woods
  • 2005 – Lake Vermilion
  • 2006 – International Falls Rainy Lake
  • 2007 – Leech Lake Walker area
  • 2008 – Pequot Lakes and Breezy Point
  • 2009 – White Bear Lake
  • 2010 – Lake Kabetogama
  • 2011 – Grand Rapids
  • 2012- Waconia
  • 2013 – Park Rapids
  • 2014 – Brainerd Lakes Area
  • 2015 – Lake Vermilion Area
  • 2016 – Big Sandy Lake, McGregor
  • 2017 – Greater St. Cloud Area – being planned

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