Mankato to host 2023 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener

(ABC 6 News) – The 2023 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be held in Mankato.

Governor Walz, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Sarah Strommen and Explore Minnesota Fishing Opener Coordiantor Nicole Lalum made the announcement at Bray Park on the shore of Madison Lake in Blue Earth County on Monday morning.

"Fishing is a multi billion dollar industry. It’s important to the state and local economies. We are looking forward to highlighting our lakes. We have incredible parks and trails in our area and we look forward to highlighting them," said DNR Commissioner Strommen.

“I am incredibly excited to bring the longtime tradition of the Governor’s Fishing Opener to Southern Minnesota and my hometown of Mankato,” said Governor Tim Walz. “This region is home to an extraordinary diversity of fishing opportunities on over 100 lakes and rivers. I look forward to celebrating the unique tourism and outdoor opportunities that the region has to offer.”

This will be the first year Mankato has hosted the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener and the fifth time the Fishing Opener will be held in southern Minnesota. The event provides the host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing, attractions, and points of interest.

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. Prior to the pandemic, travel and tourism generate $16.6 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually.

The event will be held May 12-13, 2023.