ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 14, 2016) – Next year's Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener will be held on the Mississippi River in the St. Cloud area, May 11-14, 2017. This will be the first time in the history of the Governor's Fishing Opener that the event will be held in the St. Cloud area.
Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism promotion office, organizes this event each year in coordination with a host community. The 70th annual Governor's Fishing Opener will be hosted collaboratively by the communities of St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids and Sartell.
"The Mississippi River is America's most-renowned waterway, and I am excited to host the 2017 Governor's Fishing Opener on its waters in the St. Cloud area," said Gov. Dayton. "I thank St. Cloud's host committee for hosting this great Minnesota tradition."
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources the Mississippi River has one of the best known quality smallmouth bass populations in the nation, and has a walleye catch rate comparable to Minnesota's best walleye lakes.
Located within an hour of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the central host city of St. Cloud offers an energetic urban setting, with 45 restaurants and many entertainment options within walking distance of the river and host hotels. It has some of the state's most attractive urban parks, including the widely renowned Munsinger and Clemens Gardens on the banks of the Mississippi.
"The St. Cloud area is one of Minnesota's premier destinations, and the Mississippi River offers some of the state's most diverse fishing opportunities," said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota. "The city really hits the sweet spot in terms of size, bursting with urban energy, attractions and amenities, but peaceful and friendly like a small town."
"It is an honor and privilege for St. Cloud to serve as the host of the 2017 Governor's Fishing Opener," said St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis. " St. Cloud is an award winning city, located on the banks of the Mississippi River—one of Minnesota's greatest assets—featuring some of the nation's best smallmouth bass fishing. As your host, St. Cloud will provide spectacular fishing outings on the beautiful Mississippi River, and memorable events for all."
The Governor's Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota's recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as an iconic kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $13.6 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually.
The Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener provides the host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing and other travel activities, attractions and points of interest. Media from throughout the Midwest region attend the event, resulting in significant publicity for the host community and Minnesota.
The Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener is coordinated by Explore Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the host community. More information about the Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener is available at: www.mngovernorsopener.com