An estimated 500,000 people will be on the state's lakes Saturday for the walleye and northern pike opener, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials.
Don Pereira, DNR fisheries chief, said anglers should have good luck based on walleye numbers in some northern lakes.
Some of the best lakes for anglers this weekend include Red Lake and Leech Lake, he said.
But the cold weather means the ice won't be completely out on some northeastern Minnesota lakes, Pereira said. Other lakes, including Mille Lacs, will have limits in effect because of walleye spawning.
In Mille Lacs, the state's premier walleye fishery, walleye populations have declined over the past decade.
"Our policy there is going to be only allow so much harvest of fish so that we don't see any further decline in the number of spawners," Pereira said. "Northern pike and smallmouth bass on the other hand are expanding. The past two years we've had basically record numbers of young northern pike, under a year and one- to two-year-old fish in our northern pike assessment nets."