Fishing opener hosts selected for Walz, Flanagan

Published 7:44 pm Friday, May 3, 2019

Albert Lea area residents and accomplished anglers Bryan Skogheim and Mike Petersen will host Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, respectively, at the 2019 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener on Fountain Lake on May 11, according to a press release. As fishing opener hosts, Skogheim and Petersen will serve as volunteer fishing guides for the governor and lieutenant governor’s first opener.

Skogheim, who will host Walz, is the manager of business development at Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services in addition to being a Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and board member for Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it will be a great experience to get on the water with Gov. Walz,” Skogheim said. “I’ve fished the area lakes for more than 30 years and there are plenty of quality fish to be caught.”

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In addition, Skogheim has fished multiple tournaments with FLW and Bassmaster. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife and two children.

Flanagan’s host, Mike Petersen, is a partner at Security Insurance/Heartman Agency who has lived in the Albert Lea area with his family his entire life.

“I’m thrilled that Albert Lea is hosting the Governor’s Fishing Opener, and happy to volunteer. This unique opportunity will not only showcase the good fishing in our area, but the local attractions,” he said. “I’m an avid fisherman on Fountain Lake. It’s a diverse fishery, and I’m confident we can show our guests some action.”

Thursday through May 12 this year, the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a treasured tradition in Minnesota since 1948, the release states. Fishing is a key part of one of the largest sectors of the state’s economy—tourism. The opener is also a kick-off celebration for the statewide summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $15.3 billion in leisure and hospitality sales in Minnesota annually.

This year’s Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener is coordinated by Explore Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Albert Lea area.