Chetek business leaders react to Gov. Walker picking the city fo - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chetek business leaders react to Gov. Walker picking the city for Fishing Opener


Chetek (WQOW)- The fishing opener begins Saturday across Wisconsin, but up in Chetek where the governor will be, many people were worried about the late ice, and the upcoming anniversary of a devastating tornado.

In Chetek, hundreds will come along with Governor Scott Walker. 

"Chetek's proud and ready to bring him and all of his guests," said Darryl Dahl, the VP of the Chetek Area Chamber of Commerce.

The May date had some worried, following last year's tornado. 

"On May 16, a tornado hit Chetek. It went across two of the lakes and actually took out two of our bigger campgrounds and resorts, so they've been working hard to bring themselves back to put themselves back together so they could be open for this season. Clean the cabins, get the yard work all done, and again the last thing we do is turn on the water because with the weather especially this year, you're always worried about having a freeze up," said Lois Klay, the owner of Klay's Happy Days Resort. 

Other area owners said they started their preps when the snow was still on the lake. 

"Filling the shelves, trying to get all of the pegs filled, trying to make it look pretty - we did all the floors. It's kind of the same process every year. This year we have more time because of the late ice," said Mike Bilodeau, the owner of Rod and Gun. 

Despite a semi-frozen Chain of Lakes, the waterways of Chetek are ready. 

"About 210 people that will be officially registering though the Wisconsin Indian Head Governors Fishing Opener, and then of course all of the guest and visitors that will be in the area," said Dahl. 

Visitors will also be able to do more than just fish, as other businesses gear up for a different crowd. 

"Planning some retail events around town. It's an angler's widow weekend is what the retailers are calling it, so they're got (sic) specials and prizes they're giving away," said Dahl. 

The Governor's Opener is by invitation only. It starts at 8 a.m. at Gilligan's, and ends with a banquet dinner at the Mill Events Center. 

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