Senator Al Franken toured Minnetonka-based Rapala USA Wednesday morning. Rapala is the number one fishing lure company in the U.S., said Rapala creative director Robert Bussey who led the tour. Bussey shared with Sen. Franken the history of the company, its products, and its connection to the Minnesota economy and tourism.
Fishing brings to Minnesota’s economy $4.7 billion, according to information availabile from the Minnesota DNR. Minnesota ranks fourth highest in the country for number of anglers.
Sen. Franken also had the opportunity to watch a casting demonstration of different fishing lures in the demonstration pond. There were no fish in the pond, however. Bussey explained that previous attempts to conduct testing with live fish quickly resulted in fish conditioned to no longer react to the lures, which had the hooks removed.
Said Sen. Franken, the importance of fishing to Minnesota is part of why he cares so much about clean water in Minnesota.