Minnesota fishing opener: Anglers greeted by ice covered lakes

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Ice-covered lakes in central and northern Minnesota made for an unusual fishing opener this weekend.

"Sad, sad, sad,'' Greg Thomas, owner of Gregory's Resort in Garrison, on the western shore of Mille Lacs, told the Star Tribune. "We've still got about 24 inches of ice out in the middle of the lake right now. It's just a bummer for me -- I've got people canceling right and left. In the 23 years I've been at this, I've never seen anything like it."

Gov. Mark Dayton caught and released a nice-size walleye at 12:25 a.m. Saturday, his first catch of the season at the 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener in Park Rapids.

Dayton was paired with guide Jason Durham on Fish Hook River, along with fishing partners former Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and state Sen. Rod Skoe.

The governor intended to drop a line in Fish Hook Lake, but the Park Rapids Enterprise reported ice on the shoreline hadn't receded enough to accomodate boats for fishing.

Most lakes from Mille Lacs north are still covered with a couple feet of ice--conditions not seen during the fishing opener in decades.

KSTP has condition reports from popular fishing destinations around Minnesota.

It's expected to stay cool and windy in the northern part of the state this weekend. A blast of chilly air will keep temperatures in the 40s.

Minnesota Broadcasters Association President Jim du Bois is talking with officials and fishing enthusiasts in Park Rapids this weekend. Click here to listen.

Rick Kupchella can also be found in Park Rapids. He sent us some photos (click on images for larger, hi-res photos):

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