MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For seven of the past ten years, Mother’s Day and the Minnesota Fishing Opener have fallen on the same weekend. It’s an act that any fishing family has balanced long ago. So, why do these traditions often happen at the same time?
“We didn’t plan for it to be on Mother’s Day, obviously,” said Pete Takash, information program leader for fish and wildlife with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The fishing opener used to be the weekend closest to May 15, but in 1989, the state legislature moved the date to two weekends before Memorial Day. At the time, resorts wanted to ensure three weekends of fishing in May.
Takash says the date has nothing to do with spawning, but rather with what Mother Nature delivers each spring. In 2013, there was still ice on the lake in Park Rapids at the Governor’s Fish Opener. There’s a short window between the average date of ice-out and maximum amount of time people can fish.
“We want people to fish,” Takash said. “Walleyes bite better early in the season.”
In the effort to encourage mothers to fish, licenses are not required for Minnesota residents who are mothers this weekend.
“Moms and kids should be fishing too on Mother’s Day,” Karen Hart wrote on Twitter. “No better way to celebrate. MN tradition and great family time.”