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Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday announced that the 2020 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener has been postponed until next year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

This year's 73rd annual event was set to be held next month in Otter Tail County. But now the Governor's Fishing Opener is rescheduled for May 6-9, 2021. It still will be held in Otter Tail County, in west-central Minnesota.

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Despite this year's Governor's Fishing Opener being postponed, the 2020 fishing season will still open on May 9.

“While our event together must be postponed, I still plan to enjoy the 2020 summer angling season using safe social distancing on one of our state’s 11,842 lakes, and I look forward to 2021 Opener festivities in Otter Tail County,” Walz said in a statement

The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a Minnesota tradition since 1948. Each year, the event provides a new host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing and other travel activities, attractions and points of interest. Opener festivities are organized by Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a Minnesota host community and many sponsors that make the event possible.

“We’re pleased to let anglers across the state know that the 2020 season will open as planned," Sarah Strommen, DNR commissioner, said in the same statement from Walz. “We encourage anglers to start planning for new ways to enjoy the tradition of the Minnesota Fishing Opener close to home and in ways that also protect public health."

The DNR urges anglers to use good judgement when choosing where to fish this season. “While we want people to enjoy outdoor activity to maintain health and wellbeing, we’re asking anglers to forgo travel to their favorite fishing spot and instead fish close to home to contain the spread of COVID-19. We also want to remind anglers to maintain social distancing at boat landings,” Strommen said.