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Walker Returns North to Fish, Catches Walleye

Posted at: 05/25/2013 4:12 PM
Updated at: 05/25/2013 8:04 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

Lake Namakagon near Cable, Wisconsin, hosted this year's Annual Governor's Fishing Opener, but with a fresh foot of snow and ice still covering the lake on May 4th, no one could get their boat in on the lake. The icy weather also kept Governor Scott Walker south for the event.

Now three weeks later, the ice and snow are gone and Walker returned to Lake Namakagon as promised for a Governor's Fishing Opener part two.

The governor's fishing guide, Tom Rice, said the fish were biting.

"Today, it was beautiful, we couldn't have asked for a better day and the fish were biting so you can't ask for anything better than that," said Rice.

Rice even got Walker to reel in a walleye, breaking the so-called 'governor's curse.' The last governor to catch a fish on opener was Jim Doyle 10 years ago.

"I caught the first, my guide caught the most, and the kid fishing with us, August, caught the biggest. So we could all lay claim on something," said Walker.

They say the fishing was good, but Walker, along with the DNR, hope to make it even better. This week they announced the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative, a $13 million plan to stock more and bigger walleye in Wisconsin lakes.

"This dramatically increases the odds that people are going to have a good fishing experience," said Walker. "That's good just by itself, but that's a key element for us in terms of tourism."

Walker said the plan is partially in reaction to tribal spring harvest numbers, but the DNR says everyone could benefit. By 2016, the DNR said Wisconsin Lakes could have up to a million more walleye.

The 49th Annual Governor's Fishing Opener will be hosted on Balsam Lake in Polk County.