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McGregor anglers to host Gov. Dayton on Saturday's fishing opener

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ST. PAUL—McGregor residents and anglers Bob Staska and Glenn Lane will host Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, respectively, at the 2016 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener on Big Sandy Lake in McGregor Saturday.

Staska, who will host Gov. Dayton, is principal and head football coach at McGregor High School, where he has worked since 2002, and spends much of the rest of his time fishing and hunting. "When I am not spending time at school, I love outdoor activities," he said. "One of the reasons that I moved to the McGregor area was my love of the outdoors. I spend a lot of time fishing in both the summer and the winter."

"Being selected as the host for the governor on the opener was both a surprise and a great honor," said Staska. "I signed up to be a fishing host to help with the event because I feel that promoting tourism in our area is important. A lot of our families and our students rely on tourism money. I anticipate that being the governor's host will be a really fun experience."

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith's host, Glenn Lane, has been fishing Big Sandy Lake with his wife Barbara since 1974, and they have spent almost every weekend and vacation day there since buying a vacation home on the lake in 1992. In 2010, they moved permanently into the retirement home they built there.

"There are numerous small to medium-sized northern pike willing to bite on Big Sandy," said Lane, "but there are also some trophy ones out there. The lake is very diverse and holds many nice walleye, some very large smallmouth bass and a very good crappie population. It is also a very beautiful lake with its many bays and forests. I'm excited to show it off to the lieutenant governor and hopefully help her reel in a few fish."

The Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948, while fishing is a key part of one of the largest sectors of our economy—tourism, according to an Explore Minnesota news release. The opener is also a kick-off celebration for the statewide summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $13.6 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually. The annual Governor's Fishing Opener is an opportunity to spotlight Minnesota fishing and the McGregor area.

This year's Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener is coordinated by Explore Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, McGregor Chamber of Commerce and Big Sandy Lake & Lodge.

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