- Associated Press - Sunday, May 15, 2016

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Next year’s Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will be held on the Mississippi River in the St. Cloud area.

Explore Minnesota Tourism says the 70th annual event will be hosted collaboratively by St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids and Sartell from May 11-14, 2017. It’ll be the first time that the area has hosted a governor’s opener.

The Department of Natural Resources says 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.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis promises his community will provide “spectacular fishing outings” on the Mississippi.

Minnesota’s walleye season got off to a chilly start this weekend. Big Sandy Lake near McGregor hosted the 2016 governor’s opener, a tradition since 1948.

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