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Opposition to earlier fishing opener appears to be growing

Fishing

Opposition to earlier fishing opener appears to be growing

At a state Senate hearing Monday, legislators, the DNR and a fishing guide voiced opposition to moving up the fishing opener this year by a week.

Minnesota’s walleye spawn has slowed from the Department of Natural Resources’ earlier estimate of its progress, and is closer to unfolding at its typical springtime pace, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division Director Ed Boggess told a state Senate committee Monday morning.That development, coupled with the agency’s belief that opening walleye fishing on May 5 rather than May 12 might require restrictive regulations being placed on Mille Lacs later this summer, suggests to the DNR that leaving the opener at the later date is best, Boggess indicated.

The Minnesota House favors moving up the inland walleye and northern pike season to May 5, based on the prematurely temperate weather recorded statewide this spring.

“But we’re now looking at closer to an average walleye spawning,” Assistant DNR Commissioner Bob Meier told the committee.

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