ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — The Willmar Lakes area of west-central Minnesota will host next year’s Governor’s Fishing Opener.

The 71st annual event will be held on Green Lake in Spicer. The governor’s opener will be hosted collaboratively by the communities of the Willmar Lakes area, including Willmar, Spicer and New London, and smaller communities within Kandiyohi County. Green Lake also hosted the event in 1996.

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The Department of Natural Resources says there are substantial numbers of eating-size walleyes in Green Lake, and good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike, crappies and bluegills.

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Gov. Mark Dayton caught and released a 3-pound, 17-and-a-half-inch smallmouth during Saturday’s opener on the Mississippi River in St. Cloud. State Rep. Ilhan Omar, the United States’ first Somali-American legislator, led all anglers in the official party with 13 fish.

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