MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Half a million people in Minnesota are expected to hit the lakes this weekend for the start of the fishing season.

WCCO’s David McCoy talks to the guide taking Governor Mark Dayton fishing at Green Lake in Spicer Saturday morning.

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It’s still sweater weather on Green Lake for the Governor’s Fishing Opener this weekend, but make no mistake about it, this town of 1,200 people is absolutely thrilled to be hosting the event. Ice out was declared on Green Lake just eight days ago, back on May 3.

Most people around town say they were never worried the ice is always out in time for the Fishing Opener. The guide taking Gov. Dayton out Saturday morning is a man named Kelly Morrell, who’s very well known in this community. Not just for his fishing expertise, but also for his community involvement. He’s involved in a lot of charitable and philanthropic efforts around town.

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When he heard the Governor’s Fishing Opener was coming to his hometown, he jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s like you win the lottery ticket and everyone is congratulating you and thinking from all these years of whatever, I don’t know, I just got lucky and I got the position so that’s the way I feel about it,” Morrell said. “Absolutely (I’m nervous). He’s had four years, this is his last session, his last time at the Governor’s Open and you want him going out on a good note.”

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Green Lake is considered the gem of the 29-lake chain of lakes in the Willmar lakes area, and locals say it has some of the clearest and most pristine water in all the world.