Wisconsin Governor's Fishing Opener

May 5th & 6th, 2023

The Northwest Wisconsin ITBEC Tourism Committee (Travel Northwest Wisconsin) is thrilled to announce the Wisconsin Governor's Fishing Opener for 2023! NW-ITBEC is a 12-county group dedicated to marketing Northwest Wisconsin. The event will rotate around the region each year to showcase the incredible natural resources that the region offers. NW ITBEC will invite dignitaries and media to celebrate the opener, while also focusing on inspiring the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts to learn all about fishing. 

Governor Evers at the 2022 Fishing Opener.

Governor Evers with a nice catch at the 2022 Fishing Opener.


Find out more about the "open to the public" events for the Wisconsin Governor's Fishing Opener:

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the purpose of the event?

The Wisconsin Governors Fishing Opener exists to raise awareness of the fishing and tourism industries in the State of Wisconsin. The event brings Wisconsin dignitaries to the area, including the Governor and Cabinet Secretaries from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. A main goal of the event is to obtain significant media coverage highlighting the host community and Wisconsin’s fishing and tourism industries. It also provides a fun, outdoor-focused community event. One of the significant updates to the event in 2022 was to create a family-focused event on Saturday to inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.


Who can attend?

With the event changing hands in 2022, some changes were made to the VIP portion of the event. While the group would love to invite everyone, due to limited seating, the banquet, destination showcase tours, and breakfast will be by invitation only. Invitations will be extended to select dignitaries and active members of the media.

The Family Fishing Day and Community Fish Fry are open to the public, so everyone is welcome to attend. And, of course, everyone is welcome to join in on the fishing!


What is the history of the Wisconsin Governors Fishing Opener?

The event was operated by Wisconsin Indian Head Country, Inc. for several decades. In 2022, the torch was passed on to the Northwest Wisconsin ITBEC Tourism Committee to keep the event alive. More history will be added in the near future.


Who is the primary point of contact? 

Laura Palzkill, Executive Director of the Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce, email or 715-339-4100.

Fishing opener Chair, Sherry Beckman 715-634-4801.

About the Host Destination:

Where is Price County?

Price County is located in Northwest Wisconsin. Communities include Phillips and Park Falls. More information on Price County can be found on their website.


Where will the fishing take place? 

The host lake will be the Phillips Chain of Lakes which includes Duroy, Elk, Long and Wilson lakes.


Where will the Family Fishing Day take place?

Elk Lake Park, 585 County Rd H, Phillips, WI 54555


Thank you to the sponsors who make the event possible:

IFD Logo 2019_1 (1)
Enbridge Life Takes Energy (1)
Untitled design (4)
WCTA - BW - Transparent (1) (2) (1) (1)

Badger Docks
Best Western Spooner Riverplace
Burnett County
City of Shell Lake
Hagen Electric
Jack Link's Protein Snacks
Masterjohn Realty
Shell Lake Arts Center
Shell Lake Chamber of Commerce
Spooner Health
St. Croix Rods