Preparations for Fishing Opener are Underway - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Preparations for Fishing Opener are Underway

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Despite there still being ice on some lakes in the Midwest, that won't stop many from getting in the Spring spirit and going out next weekend for the Minnesota Fishing Opener.

Even the DNR is prepping for the summer.

But, as Valley News team's Kristi Larson tells us one of the DNR's important fishing season preparations is being affected by the cold.

It's not the most attractive job duty, but once a year the Minnesota DNR spawn Walleye.

"I've been here for 11 years now and this is the latest I've seen it."

It's a process of fish reproduction, with the help of the human hand.

"In terms of where fish are going to go and how many fish we're going to need, and a lot of it is, too, working with the other areas, and making sure everyone's got enough fish to meet their needs."

Once the deed is done, they're kept in jars until they hatch into fry.

"We gather eggs for all of our stocking needs, for the area, and possibly a few beyond the area, but we collect those eggs in the Spring when the fish come in."

Natural reproduction happens in many lakes, but getting some stocked Walleye from the DNR helps improve lakes where fishing exceeds reproduction, and each lake plans on what age-stage of Walleyes they need.

"We don't want to put a lot of Walleyes where they don't have a lot of space, where the habitat isn't ideal for them to succeed, so a lot goes into deciding where they go."

All their planning helps the chances of fishermen hooking the big one, or at least having a great story of "the one that got away."

A late warm season, but the DNR is helping spawn just in time for opening fishing.

"It's fun to see people catch fish, it's fun to create fishing opportunities, and that's the enjoyable part of this job."

The official Minnesota Fishing Opener is May 11th.

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