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ICYMI: Mille Lacs Messenger – Dayton catches flak on Mille Lacs

7/12/2017 9:53:31 AM

The following article, written by Vivian LaMoore, ran in the Mille Lacs Messenger on July 12, 2017, following the Governor’s visit to Lake Mille Lacs. To read the whole story on the Mille Lacs Messenger website, CLICK HERE.

Gov. Dayton’s visit to promote Mille Lacs Lake bass fishing squashed by those protesting walleye ban

It was a beautiful day to #DoTheLake on Saturday, July 8 beginning with sunshine and a slight breeze. A small crowd patiently awaited the arrival of  Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph at Fisher’s Resort on the north end of Mille Lacs Lake.

The intention was a bass fishing trip to help emphasize and promote Mille Lacs Lake as a bass fishing destination during the three-week shut-down of the walleye season. While his arrival on shore was greeted with well-wishers, families with young children, camera’s and puppies, once on the lake the launch carrying the governor and at least a half-dozen young kids and other friends was surrounded by boats carrying protestors holding signs and shouting at the governor to “fix Mille Lacs Lake,” among other comments. 

“I understand their frustration,” Dayton said. “And it is their First Amendment right to speak their mind and protest.”

Prior to boarding the launch boat at Fisher’s, Dayton briefly spoke to the crowd about the BassMaster Magazine’s announcement naming Mille Lacs the number one bass lake in the country. He held up a copy of Outdoor News with a photo of a monster muskie recently caught on Mille Lacs. “This lake has so much opportunity for sportsmen,” Dayton said. He continued by stating the temporary ban on walleye fishing is an effort to reduce hooking mortality during the warm weather of July. He took time to talk with the young kids and snap a few photos before boarding.

On board the launch, Dayton continued his personal conversations with the youth and listening to their plans for their future and encouraged them to continue their educations. With captain Dean Fisher at the helm, captain Robbie Robinson set the governor’s fishing rod and reel. With the live bait ban in place Robinson let the governor pick out the lure. “These really do look and feel real,” Dayton said. 

“Casting or bobber fishing? Which do you prefer?” Robinson asked Dayton. He chose bobber fishing. 

With the help of his new friend 9-year-old Lane Anderson, grandson of Greg Fisher, Dayton sat peacefully fishing and watching the protestors circle the launch.


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