By Rep. Jordan Rasmusson
The 73rd Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will take place May 14-15 in Otter Tail County. This will be the culmination of years’ worth of planning and preparation from local leaders, businesses, and countless volunteers after the 2020 event was called off amid COVID-19 concerns.
The Fishing Opener is a unique opportunity to highlight our quality of life in Otter Tail County and provide a boost to local businesses that have suffered over the past year. While Lund Boats, Beach Bums, and Thumper Pond are playing prominent roles in the festivities, the local benefits of hosting this annual state tradition will positively impact many more businesses in our regional hospitality industry. Bait shops, restaurants, resorts, and more expect to see a sales boost from the weekend’s activities. Previous hosts have also experienced a long-term positive impact on local tourism due to the statewide publicity that comes with hosting the Fishing Opener.
I understand political divides are causing some people to be less enthused about the governor coming to Otter Tail County, but this event is about fishing, not politics. I have spent this year opposing the governor’s tax increases, emergency powers, and more at the State Capitol. The governor and I have strong disagreements, but we are not hosting a Tim Walz birthday party; this is an event to highlight Otter Tail County’s recreational opportunities, business community, and quality of life.
The Fishing Opener is about us. We can share with the rest of the state what makes Otter Tail County a great place to live (and catch a walleye). I plan to attend the festivities – so long as end-of-session duties allow me to – in order to support our area business in the hopes we kick off a great tourism season for lakes country. I also plan on attending to show my gratitude for the local leaders who have been dedicated to planning this event over the last two years, overcoming many setbacks and obstacles along the way.
This event is a salute to Otter Tail County’s local businesses and workers. Please join me in making the Fishing Opener a success for them.