UNDATED -- A Minnesota tradition returns at 12:01 a.m. Saturday...the fishing opener. The Minnesota DNR estimates that as many as 500,000 anglers will fish on opening day statewide.

Central Region Fisheries Manager Brad Parsons says there's no concerns about ice out this year and the water is starting to warm up. He says the perch, walleye and northern pike are done spawning while blue gills, crappies and bass haven't spawned yet.  Parsons says this should translate to a healthy bite no matter what species you're fishing.

Fishing contributes $2,400,000,000 to the state's economy in direct sales, ranking third in the nation. Only Alaska has more people participating in fishing annually.

Parson reminds everyone to be courteous at boat landings, wear life jackets and remove all plants and boat plugs when leaving the water.  He says it's a good idea to take your boat out for a test run before the opener to ensure a smooth transition from land to water.

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