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Thiede urges state to allow fishing during state government shutdown

Crow Wing County Board Chair Paul Thiede has announced an effort to keep vacationers coming to the Brainerd lakes area during the current state government shutdown. 

“The potential for the state shutdown to have a significant impact on our tourism economy is real,” Thiede said in a statement. “Since receiving a call from an Iowa resident who had been headed to Gull Lake for a fishing vacation it’s clear how tenuous are some of the reservations our resorts and businesses depend upon.”

Thiede indicated he would offer a resolution at Tuesday’s county board meeting to support and urge the DNR to implement immediately a temporary practice of allowing currently non-licensed anglers to fish in the Brainerd lakes area under an honor system. These anglers would need to commit to obtaining a fishing license after-the-fact when the state computers are up and running again.

The proposed resolution urges the state to “utilize any available emergency resources to make this information known to the public both within and outside of the state of Minnesota as soon as possible in order to avoid cancellation of vacation plans and help preserve this vital segment of our economy in these unusual circumstances.” 

 “In speaking with other county officials, I know that we are not alone in this predicament and that is why when the county board meets on July 12 we intend to have the issue on the agenda,” Thiede said in a statement.