St. Cloud, Gov. Dayton prepare for fishing opener

Officials expect spectacular conditions for the Governor’s Fishing Opener on Saturday in St. Cloud. This marks the first time the event has been held in Greater St. Cloud.

“This is spectacular. I'm really looking forward to fishing on the river,” said Governor Mark Dayton.

Explore Minnesota Director Jon Edman said the fishing opener is a chance to showcase what Greater St. Cloud, and the entire state, has to offer in terms of natural resources

“Last year, we generated $1.1 million in media value. A city like this could never afford that publicity,” Edman told Fox 9. “A lot of states don’t have what we have, so that’s what we’re here to promote.”

It's a big weekend for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as well. Their officers will be deployed making sure anglers are having a safe time on the water.

“Our whole staff of officers is going to be out this weekend,” said Tom Landwer, DNR Commissioner. “Checking people for licenses, sure, but also making sure everything is going safe, if people are having trouble with their boats, officers are going to be there to help.”

The Governor will be joined by House Speaker Kurt Daudt, and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, on the Mississippi River Saturday. The leaders promise to put the tensions of the budget battle in St. Paul aside, at least for one day.

“No, too much pressure to catch a fish tomorrow,” Dayton said. “We’re just going to have a good time together.”

“I’m sure business will come up a little bit,  I think this is really an opportunity to celebrate a great Minnesota tradition, the fishing opener, and  to just enjoy each other personally,” Speaker Daudt said.

Officials expect 500,000 people to fish on Minnesota waterways this weekend.