As conference committees continue to grind through big budget bills, Gov. Mark Dayton is getting out of town Friday for the annual governor's fishing opener.

Dayton is headed for Grand Rapids, where he plans to start fishing right after midnight, when the season opens, on Lake Pokegema.

Friday night he's hosting a community picnic with Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. adnd several other state officials.

After coming off the lake Saturday morning, Dayton. Prettner Solon, House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., will hold an official sendoff for other anglers.

While in Grand Rapids,  environmental groups and representatives of Indian tribes will confront Dayton over protections of wild rice. A bill in the Legislature would relax water quality standards that would allow more sulfates in waters where wild rice is grown. 

Meanwhile, legislative conference committees were scheduled to work on the omnibus budget bill, transportation finance, public safety and teacher candidate skills testing. Both the House and Senate were scheduled to have floor sessions.

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