CHIPPEWA FALLS (WEAU) A day out on the lake gets political, as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker comes to the Chippewa Valley for the 46th Annual Governor’s Fishing Opener.
Controversy has surrounded Governor Walker ever since he signed legislation to repeal state workers collective bargaining rights earlier this year.
At Saturday’s opener in Chippewa Falls on Lake Wissota, the governor reeled in nearly a dozen protesters in three boats, all with protest signs pointed at him.
“They have every right to do that. Most people in the state when they go out fishing go away from their jobs, politics and business. That’s what we’re going to be doing, but if they want to bring it along with them it’s their right,” Governor Walker said.
As the governor fished on one side of the lake, Wisconsin Workers held its own fishing opener on the other side at Lake Wissota State Park.
The protesters paraded around the lake in several boats, speaking out against Walker with dozens of signs.
Sarah Duerre, a school teacher from Eau Claire, was one of the protesters on the lake with Walker.
“I’m a public school teacher and a large part of my motivation for protesting against the governor is the damage I think he is going to do to public education. Our state has become quite divided and politicized and unfortunately we can’t go back to the days where it was just a good day to fish,” Duerre said.
Despite the controversy, organizers of the Fishing Opener said it will bring in much-needed money to local businesses.