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Will Lake Minnetonka Have an Early Fishing Opener?

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would move the 2012 Minnesota Fishing Opener up a week. If Gov. Mark Dayton signs the bill, fishing opener on Lake Minnetonka would be May 5.

Mother’s Day and the Minnesota state fishing opener may not conflict this year, even though they are scheduled the same weekend.

If signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the omnibus game and fish bill would set fishing opener on Lake Minnetonka for May 5. Minnesota’s 2012 fishing season is officially scheduled to start May 12.

“The fish have done most of the work that they must do to make other fish,” Rep. David Dill (D-Crane Lake) said. “The fish already are moving out (into deeper water). This is a bonus week. We have a constitutional amendment that says we have the right to hunt and fish.”

The omnibus game and fish bill, HF2171, passed by the House Tuesday, and also includes a Minnesota wolf-hunting season coinciding with the start of the deer-hunting season.

The bill awaits action by the Senate. If the Senate fails to pass the identical bill, a conference committee would be needed to work out the differences.

Wolf Hunt

The late-2011 removal of wolves from the federal Endangered Species List resulted in the transfer of management of Minnesota’s estimated population of 3,000 wolves to the state on Jan. 27, 2012.

Under the bill, up to 400 wolves could be taken during the first season, which would begin this year on the same day as the deer-hunting season.

For other provisions in the omnibus game and fish bill, visit the House of Representatives Session Daily.

-- Bob Geiger of the House of Representatives Session Daily contributed to this report.

Dan Freeman April 05, 2012 at 06:21 PM
This is simply crazy. Don't the legislators realize that people make plans for the fishing opener well in advance? This includes scheduling time off from work and, in my case purchasing airline tickets to return to Minnesota where I grew up.
Witty Walleye April 05, 2012 at 09:24 PM
If only you could go fishing the second weekend after fishing opener. If only....
Back to Work April 07, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Dumb just dumb. Why move this do we have nothing better to be working on? All the resorts on the range along with businesses in the state revolve around what they were told months ago. You are helping NO ONE with this stupid idea. By the way how does our budget look?
jnb1969 April 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Not everyone goes to a resort some of us live in northern Minnesota and have lakes all around us and just want to get our familys out on the water. If your not in a position to get out then don't go.
Dan Freeman April 07, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I always thought the Fishing Opener in Minnesota was kind of like a national holiday or something. Changing the date is kind of like saying we are moving Christmas up a week but go ahead and celebrate it on the 25th if you really want to.
Ryan Rosin April 08, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Comparing christmas to the walleye opener is a little ridiculous dont you think?
Dan Freeman April 08, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Not at all, especially if you don't capitalize "Christmas."
hwy12goph April 09, 2012 at 06:01 AM
I don't care about the dates, if the weather this year is early and the fish are done spawning I'd like to fish a week early. This changes nothing for resorts and travelers. Much different if we moved a week later!
Matt H. April 09, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Dan, YOU CAN STILL FISH THE SECOND WEEKEND OF THE FISHING SEASON!!!! They are doing this because of the warm weather and to move it off of Mother's Day (notice the capitalization af the holiday). Everything in this world doesn't revolve around you and your plans.
Dan Freeman April 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Have they actually changed the date, or are they still just thinking about it? I see where the Governor hasn't changed his opening date. And why did they tack a wolf season on the bill? Are they spawning early as well? You guys are crazy.
Jay Corn April 09, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I'll get an update on the progress of the bill. The governor's office says his fishing opener event on Lake Waconia won't be rescheduled because of logistics.
MN Tradition April 10, 2012 at 02:11 AM
This is just another elected official screwing something up and many others backing him because they probably owe him a favor, a vote or didn't take the time to think of how this will inconvenience most people who have alraedy made plans....that's how this stuff works. This would not be a problem if it is proposed 6 months to a year in advance, but not with a month to go and everyone who booked a hotel, resort or used vacation time rushing & stressing about changing their dates when this should be a worry free fun Minnesota holiday. Beleive it or not...but tradition is deeply involved here and it is not just another weekend...so to say that you can still fish the next weekend is pure ignorance. I wish they could pass the Vikings stadium bill this quickly....
Bigdoggs April 12, 2012 at 02:34 PM
So if u fish a week later ur not coming up? Sounds great to me!!!! Actually means another weekend for resorts so should mean more money!! It's been warm for a long time and resorts should already be set to go. Caught walleyrs already crappie fishing so they are already coming out from spawning! Dont like it then stay in the cities!!!!!!!
Bigdoggs April 12, 2012 at 02:43 PM
And when i get a paid holiday for opener then we can start to compare it to christmas! And i think 400 wolf tags is an awesome idea as well. Have a major problem with wolves on the farm and would love to harvest one!
Jay Corn April 12, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Hey everyone. The Legislature is off this week, so there won't be any news to report this week. After passing the House, the bill was introduced into the Senate but essentially sent back to committee. With the fishing opener rapidly approaching, it looks like it may die there. Thoughts? I have some calls in to the bill's author and the DNR. Will provide updates as they become available. Where are ya'll launching for the opener, anyway? I'll be camped out at the Grays Bay access taking photos and talking to folks. Say hi if you're in the neighborhood.
Ron West April 13, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Minnesotans!!! You can't even accept a gift without getting political and whinning! When are the geniuses who are crying here going to figure out this isn't Obamacare?
Barb Mim April 17, 2012 at 01:36 PM
B Mim The wolf hunt!! I think the rules should be if there in an area that they are endangering people or domestic pets then you should be allowed to shot them!! Other wise there pretty much being shot so people can get there kicks!! In this day and age people don't need wolf hides etc!! Think about it!! Thanks!! B Mim
Jay Corn April 17, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Hey everybody, there is an update to this story. Read it here and keep the conversation going: http://patch.com/A-s4fd
Bigdoggs April 17, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Really disapointed if they dont pass it! I cant fish may 5 because of house hold scheduling but still would like everyone else to go!!!! The wolf tags are a back burner for me! They could remove that and wouldnt bother me. Sorry to here it will most likely die!!!!!!! Bummer!!!!
Roy Albert April 18, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Absolutely correct Dan Freeman, logic eludes those in power, they just don't get it!
Jigemup April 20, 2012 at 01:30 AM
If u were a resort owner like I am, an extra week of fishing would be great due to the lack of Ice this year and the early ice off, so anyone that says its like Christmas is not a true minnesota'n. We live and die by fisherman as due bait shops, so let's get that extra week of fun!!

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