In 2021, the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener was in Otter Tail Lakes County. The Minnesota Lottery was excited to once again be a part of this fun tradition that kicks off the summer fishing and tourism season.

It may come as no surprise that lead is toxic to people, but did you know it has the same harmful effects on wildlife? Even a small amount of lead can be lethal to the Common Loon, eagles, and swans. It is estimated that lead poisoning is responsible for the death of 25 percent of Minnesota’s loon population—and those deaths are easily preventable.

Make the simple switch to non-lead fishing tackle. Safe alternatives include tungsten, bismuth, steel, tin, glass, stone and metal composite. For more information, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website.

We are lucky to live in the land of 10,000 lakes (11,842 to be exact), plus many rivers and streams. The options for your next fishing adventure are nearly endless. We are proud that lottery proceeds, via the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, have helped make fishing more accessible for anglers in every county in Minnesota through land acquisition, the development and construction of boat accesses, fishing piers or shore fishing stations.

When you’re out on the lake, remember to be a good steward of Minnesota’s environment. Learn about other ways you can play your part by visiting the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.