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Fishing enthusiasts spend $2.4B in Minnesota, report says

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People who enjoy catching fish in Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes generate billions of dollars for the state’s economy, according to a new survey data released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Both resident and nonresident anglers in Minnesota spent a total of $2.4 billion on equipment, trip-related expenditures, and various items such as magazines and fishing organization membership dues in 2011, according to a news release.

“Only three states had higher angling expenditures,” C.B. Bylander, outreach chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Division, said in a statement. “Two were Florida and New York, which are high population coastal states. The other was Michigan, which has nearly twice Minnesota’s population and abuts four Great Lakes.”

Minnesota's fishing opener is less than two weeks away, but anxiety is running high among outfitters and resort owners on northern lakes. The Star Tribune reports nine of the state’s 10 leading walleye lakes look like they may still be covered with ice on the May 11.

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