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Tribune Opinion: Willmar Lakes Area says welcome for the Governor's Fishing Opener

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Welcome to all visiting the Willmar Lakes Area for the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener this weekend.

Willmar and Kandiyohi County are perfect spots for this year’s opener as it is where Minnesota’s lakes begin. And you have more than a few lakes to choose from.

This year is the 71st Governor’s Fishing Opener. The goal of the Governor’s Fishing Opener is to highlight the host communities and publicize local tourism. It also a time to celebrate one of the state’s unofficial holiday weekends -  the Fishing Opener.

The Willmar Lakes Area is a great place to live where diversity abounds, people believe in working together and there are many places to fish and play.

Most importantly, the ice is always out by the Fishing Opener weekend in the Willmar Lakes Area. So to the rest of Minnesota, if your favorite spot up north is still under ice, head out to the lake country out in our neck of the woods.

To the dignitaries, guests and media here for the Governor’s Fishing Opener, thank you for visiting. The Willmar Lakes Area communities have been pulling together for months to produce the best Governor’s Fishing Opener. We promise you’ll get chance to make your casts and meet some of our fish.

The public is invited to the community picnic and concert event today. It is aptly called Rock’ Robbins Fishin’ Edition - it will taste good and you’ll enjoy the music of the Dam Jammers, a great band from Renville County. The Fishin’ Edition is the opening event of five Rockin’ Robbins concerts this summer produced by the Rotary Club of Willmar.

For Gov. Mark Dayton and the other guests, the Fishing Opener event will be hosted at Green Lake in Spicer. This lake jewel of Kandiyohi County is graced with clear waters and underwater structure which makes a good lake to fish but can also be challenging. The fishing conditions can change from day to day, but the walleyes can make it worthwhile.

With the later spring and recent ice-outs, fishermen will find the area lake waters will likely be colder than normal for an opener. This means the walleye will generally be in shallow water making them more accessible, according to local fishermen experts.

Diversity is a strong point of the Willmar Lakes Area. Visitors will find a variety of lakes, shallow-, medium- and deep-water lakes. Our lakes have a wide variety of fish, from walleye, crappies, largemouth and smallmouth bass and northern pike.

The Willmar Lakes Area has a diverse collection of people and businesses. As you experience our community of Kandiyohi County, you will see that we are a collaborative community with good people willing to roll up their sleeves and put in some good work to be able to roll out the red carpet county-wide for the rest of the state to see and experience. The Willmar Lakes Area has changed a lot since we last hosted the opener in 1995, and we know you will agree.   

Not only is Willmar a shining example of collaboration, but also our entire community of Kandiyohi County and the region. If it’s good for Willmar, it’s good for Spicer. If it’s good for Spicer, it’s good for New London. If it’s good for New London, it’s good for Benson, Granite Falls, Montevideo, Olivia, etc. The message of west central Minnesota is we remain stronger by working together.

Thank you to all the residents, businesses and communities that participated in word and deed to help bring the Governor’s Fishing Opener to the Willmar Lakes Area.

Thor is the almighty God of thunder in Norse mythology.  Apparently, he is honoring the Governor’s Fishing Opener committee request for a good weather day as the forecast is for partly cloudy all day Saturday.

As you enjoy the Fishing Opener weekend with your family and friends, may you hear a great fish story or two, some may even be true.

Follow the action on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: #MNGFO2018, #OnlyInMN, and #WillmarLakesArea.

This editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune’s Editorial Board of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan.