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posted: 5/2/2013 8:31 PM

Fishing's good business for Minnesota

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It's really no surprise at all, since fishing is a tremendous cash-cow business in Minnesota.

According to a new survey data released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the anglers who enjoy Minnesota's sky blue waters are a powerful engine for the state's economy.

Direct spending of resident and nonresident anglers in Minnesota totaled $2.4 billion in 2011, the latest year for which information is available. That amount included $1.4 billion on equipment, $925 million on trip-related expenditures and $41 million on various items such as magazines and fishing organization membership dues.

Spending by anglers supports about 35,000 jobs in the state.

Edible tip:

It's more fact than rumor: morel mushroom hunting is red hot in Will and LaSalle counties.

Harboring high hopes?

The best news of the week comes from Lake Michigan, both on the north end and the far south sections.

It's major-league brown trout fishing and catching at Waukegan and Winthrop Harbor.

And the perch scene near Gary is fantastic; at least that's the word from retired long-haul driver Jack Hayden.

"My friend and I clobbered the jumbos in the morning and then went on to catch smallmouth just outside the Hammond marina," he said.

Nothing much happening on the Fox Chain and river because of the extremely high water conditions.

Bangs Lake very good for nice bluegills and crappie.

•Contact Mike Jackson at, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at

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