Now that it's starting to feel a little more like spring, there will be boaters who are eager to hit the recently thawed lakes and rivers across the Northland.  It is a lot of fun, but the Minnesota DNR reminds boaters to be on the lookout for debris in the water and the potential for ice-damaged ramps at public water accesses.

According to the DNR, fluctuating water levels in the early spring can dislodge logs and other debris making them a navigational hazard to boaters. Lakes and rivers that have experienced major flooding in recent years can be especially problematic.

They suggest the following precautions for early spring boat launching:

  • Check the ramp for broken planks and ensure the gravel is firm.
  • Have hip boots or waders available in case you need to enter the water to help guide the boat and trailer, especially where docks are not yet available.
  • Lower the motor only after you are sure there is enough clearance.
  • Watch for free floating obstructions in the lake or river.

Also, please wear a life jacket, this is especially crucial when water temperatures are dangerously cold.

Use the link below to get more information on public water access sites and to report damage you may observe.

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