ST. PAUL  (AP) - Sales of Minnesota fishing licenses before this year's opener were down nearly 30 percent compared with the same time last year.

The Department of Natural Resources says license sales are the lowest they've been in 12 years. DNR fisheries chief Dirk Peterson says he's not
concerned. Peterson says it's probably just the result of a cooler than usual spring, and that people will want to fish when the weather warms up.

People in the fishing industry blame poor weather on Saturday's season opener, high gas prices and the state of the economy.

More than 257,000 licenses had been sold on the Friday before the opener, down from nearly 367,000 at the same time in 2010, and from the 12-year average of 364,000 on that date.

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