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Media Advisory
State of Minnesota

Media Contact(s):

Alyssa Hayes, Explore Minnesota
O: 651-757-1857 // C: 651-276-8738 // [email protected] // @exploremn_pr

2019 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener Media Advisory


2019 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener Week

Starting Thursday, May 9, Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, local residents, guests, various media and community hosts will gather in the Albert Lea area to open the anticipated 2019 Minnesota fishing season.

The 72nd annual event, hosted by Albert Lea for the first time in 2019, will celebrate the time-honored Minnesota fishing tradition and feature various activities, starting Thursday, May 9, through Sunday, May 12.


  •  Gov. Walz
  •  Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan
  •  John Edman, Explore Minnesota director/CEO
  •  Albert Lea area community members/officials, local residents, guests and media personnel


Albert Lea and surrounding area

*Note: The Country Inn and Suites in Albert Lea (2214 E. Main St.) will serve as event headquarters; various activities highlighted below will take place throughout Albert Lea and the surrounding area to highlight travel and recreation opportunities.


May 9-12, 2019


  • Celebrate a Minnesota fishing tradition: Fishing is a key part of a $15.3 billion tourism industry, and 500,000 anglers celebrate the Minnesota season opener. It's a way of life in the True North, and the Governor's Fishing Opener has been a treasured tradition since 1948 that celebrates our state's great outdoors and recreation opportunities. The event helps kick off the summer travel season in a different host community each year. 
  • Gov. Walz's first fishing opener: Gov. Walz looks forward to his inaugural fishing opener as Minnesota's 41st governor in his home region of southern Minnesota. In addition to fishing, the governor will participate in a variety of activities throughout the Albert Lea area on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11.
  • Remarks from Gov. Walz, Lt. Gov. Flanagan, Explore Minnesota, Minnesota DNR and Albert Lea area hosts: Highlighting the importance of tourism and fishing to Minnesota's economy, regional travel opportunities and more.
  • Angle for stories in the Albert Lea area: This is the first time in history that a Governor's Fishing Opener will be held in the Albert Lea area. Various 2019 Governor's Fishing Opener media activities will highlight the area and include: Fountain Lake biking and paddling tours, Myre-Big Island State Park, Three Oak Winery, the SPAM Museum in Austin, and more.
  • Join dozens of Minnesota media outlets from all over the state for a live broadcast event on Friday, May 10, from 5 to 10 a.m., to promote the Minnesota fishing season, Albert Lea area and statewide travel and recreational opportunities.
  • Kids teaching kids to fish: Join the local high school fishing team, Albert Lea Anglers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and local volunteers as they provide outdoor skills and education to 5th grade students from Albert Lea area schools on Friday, May 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fishing is fun and educational. It instills patience, teaches youth and adults to live in the moment, to appreciate nature and conservation in our state. Gov. Walz also proclaims Friday, May 10, as "Fishing Education Day" to honor teachers, volunteers and others who invest time to further this great activity that unites friends and families on Minnesota waters.
  • Celebrate the Albert Lea area with thousands of residents and visitors during the free Hooked on Broadway Community Picnic and Dance that is open to the public on Friday, May 10, from 4:30 to 10 p.m. The picnic will feature an array of activities, exhibitors, live music, scheduled remarks by Gov. Tim Walz and more.
  • Drop a line with Gov. Walz, Lt. Gov. Flanagan and hundreds of area anglers on opening day (Saturday, May 11) as they cast their fishing luck on Fountain Lake during their inaugural Governor's Fishing Opener. Fishing will kick off with a send-off ceremony at 8 a.m. followed by a shore lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Albert Lea area residents will participate in the Blue Zone Walk/Run Event at Fountain Lake on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information and a complete schedule of events and locations, visit


  • Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener event images will be available on Friday, May 10, by 11 p.m. and throughout the weekend. Fishing photos of Gov. Walz will be available on Saturday, May 11.
  • Fish for other event updates in reel time on social media using #MNGFO2019 and #OnlyinMN.
  • Please secure technical needs in advance through Alyssa Hayes, including for the live radio broadcast on Friday, May 10.
  • Please contact Alyssa Hayes if you would like to film only (not fish) in the Albert Lea area on or around fishing opener day, Saturday, May 11.

About the Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener

The 72nd annual Minnesota's Governor's Fishing Opener, being held in the Albert Lea area, May 9-12, 2019, has been a Minnesota tradition since 1948. The event is hosted by Minnesota's governor and a different Minnesota community each year to highlight the importance of tourism and fishing to the Minnesota economy. The event is organized by Explore Minnesota with a volunteer host committee, and supported by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the many sponsors that make the event possible. More information about the Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener can be found at