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A 6.5-pound walleye is released May 9, 2009, on Crane Lake, northeast of Orr, Minnesota, near the Canadian border. Fishing was pretty good on the border lake, though finding legal keeper-sized walleyes, the protective slot begins at 17 inches and runs through 28 inches on Crane Lake, was challenging. (Dennis Anderson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

That annual rite of spring -- the walleye opener -- gets underway Saturday morning

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The opening day of Minnesota's walleye season isn't a state holiday, but in the minds of many people, the annual opener is one of the biggest events of the year.

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Even North Dakota anglers, who live in a state where fishing season is open year-round, make the eastward trek to participate in this great Minnesota tradition. Minnesota sells more than 1 million fishing licenses annually, and a high percentage of them will be on the water for Saturday's fishing opener.

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