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Continued: Minnesota fishing opener on ice leaves many feeling 'sad, sad, sad'

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 11, 2013 - 6:46 AM

It’s also thrown off the spawning schedule of walleye, said Dirk Peterson, fisheries chief for the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Usually by the opener, female walleyes have had a chance to lay their eggs. The DNR typically closes off some areas to fishing to protect spawning females, and this year some of those closures will be extended past the opener. (More information on the closures and which lakes are frozen can be found on the DNR’s website at

The still-frigid water poses an additional safety hazard, Peterson said, advising anglers to dress warmly and make sure to use the proper flotation devices.

Sales of fishing licenses in the days leading up to the opener, usually a rush, also have chilled markedly compared to past years, signaling many anglers are in a holding pattern for this year’s opener. As of Wednesday, the DNR had sold a total of 170,751 licenses. Last year that number was 275,751. License sales typically pick up as the season goes on, usually reaching about 1 million.


Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @StribJAnderson


  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Icy Mille Lacs opener

    Friday May 10, 2013

    The opening day for the Minnesota fishing opener still finds Lake Mille Lacs partially covered in ice.

  • Ice remaining on Lake Mille Lacs kept the launch boats at Eddy’s Resort in Onamia, Minn., parked on the shore Thursday morning.

  • The winds had pushed thick ice onto the shoreline of St. Alban’s Bay on Lake Mille Lacs, days before the Minnesota walleye fishing opener.

  • GEARING UP: Mark Eno, whose parents own Twin Pines Resort & Motel, tied fishing lines at their tackle shop Thursday.

  • Long-lasting ice cover might be throwing a wrench into fishing plans for other critters, as well.

  • fishing Opener on ice

    • Lake Mille Lacs and other lakes up north still have 24 inches of ice in parts

    • Last time lakes were icy this late likely was 1950

    • 170,751 fishing licenses sold so far; last year 275,751 were sold

    • Minnesota’s walleye opener is always two weeks before Memorial Day weekend to allow the fish time to spawn.

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