When anglers across Minnesota drop their lines on Saturday, May 15, Otter Tail County is committed to hosting the 2021 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener in a reimagined way from the previous 70 plus years. By design, the event will be safely shaped to proceed within the guidelines of the Stay Safe MN initiative during the global pandemic.

“Over the past year Minnesotans have found new and creative ways to come together—and I expect this year’s fishing opener will be no different,” said Governor Tim Walz. “Fishing on our 11,842 lakes is a great Minnesota tradition—though this year’s celebrations may look different, I encourage Minnesotans to get outside and safely participate in this year’s fishing season.”

  Otter Tail County is planning to host this year’s opener celebration from May 13-15. One of this year’s highlights includes a friendly virtual fishing derby on any body of water throughout Otter Tail County. With 1,048 lakes, the county has a rich diversity of fishing opportunities. Lund Boats donated a new Lund 1875 Impact XS with a 150 horsepower Mercury motor, which will be raffled on May 8. Raffle tickets are at multiple locations throughout the area.

The local Otter Tail County planning committee is working with Explore Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to create a range of scenarios to celebrate the opener based on the COVID-19 situation in May. The future may be unpredictable, but Otter Tail County is committed to continuing the Governor’s Fishing Opener tradition with creativity and resolve.

“The fishing opener is going to be different this time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better,” said Planning Committee Chair Erik Osberg. “Modified plans will allow us to carry on the celebration of Minnesota’s fishing heritage.”

The Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948, designed to improve Minnesota’s economy through the development and promotion of the state’s recreational opportunities, especially fishing.

“We’re looking forward to shining a spotlight on Otter Tail County and this important fishing tradition, especially as more Minnesotans than ever have discovered the thrill of the sport,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “Even if the event looks a little different this year, Minnesotans can experience the best of fishing and the spirit of the opener with Otter Tail’s abundance of lakes and strong outdoor community.”

The event celebrates the kickoff of the summer tourism season in Minnesota. The special partnership continues today with a promotional focus on a host community as well as state-wide fishing and recreational opportunities.

“The annual fishing opener is a time-honored Minnesota tradition to get excited for the summer travel season,” said Explore Minnesota tourism director, John Edman. “Exploring the great outdoors in Otter Tail County and throughout the state, including fishing, road trips, hiking, biking or camping, are great ways to safely enjoy summer in Minnesota this year.”

For more information, please visit www.mngovernorsopener.com.