Businesses worry another icy opener will dampen profits

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Businesses that serve anglers in the state's northern tier are fretting that the long, harsh winter will chill their opportunity to cash in on the annual state fishing opener on May 10.

"The lakes aren't looking very good," Scott Youngstrom, owner of the Fredenberg Minno-ette, a Duluth bait and tackle shop, told WDIO. He recalled that the ice out in 2013 took place a few days after opener, leaving both anglers and the businesses that rely on them disappointed.

"It was horrible," Youngstrom said. "We had hardly any business and it really hurt."

The website for the Department of Natural Resources offers anglers an interactive map with the ice out dates for last year.

Last month, an outdoors writer at the Star Tribune worried about the frozen state of northern lakes. The story reminded readers that last spring, scores of lakes were still ice-covered when the fishing season began.“My thinking right now — and I’m serious — is I don’t think the ice will be out until May 20,’’ said Larry Anderson, a longtime fishing guide on Leech Lake.

The 67th annual Governor's Fishing Opener this year is planned for the Brainerd area. The Historic Grand View Lodge on Gull Lake in Nisswa will be the headquarters for the event.

In 2013, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had to push back his official fishing opener because of the frozen conditions in Bayport, where he was supposed to drop a line.

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