Ahead of Fishing Opener, DNR warns lake accesses may be in poor condition

The DNR has not been able to carry out its usual level of maintenance due to the coronavirus outbreak.
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Those heading to the lakes for Saturday's fishing opener have been warned that some of their access points might be in need of some TLC.

The Minnesota DNR has said that the COVID-19 outbreak has limited its preparations for the 2020 fishing season.

While most of its 1,700 public water accesses have received "basic safety maintenance," docks and other amenities won't be in place at a number of locations before the opener.

The DNR has also warned that as well as docks not being installed, water levels may be high and ramps may have some damage at its statewide accesses.

"As well, hundreds of sites – while functional – may need additional repairs because winter’s freezing temperatures and ice caused concrete to crack and buckle, so anglers should exercise extra caution when launching and loading boats this spring," the DN said.

"I want Minnesotans to know that we are working hard to ready our access sites for the fishing season,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen.

"Ramps are functional at most sites, but not all of the usual amenities like docks will be fully deployed by this weekend’s opener. There will be plenty of great places to fish and boat close to home."

The DNR manages just over half of the 3,000 public water accesses or boat launches in Minnesota.

The state is advising people to limit the spread of COVID-19 by heading to lakes relatively close to home, urging people not to have any overnight stays, bring any supplies they need with them so as not to require trips to rural stores, and only go as far as you can get on a single tank of gas and back.

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