The Minnesota Fishing Opener is coming up this weekend and DNR crews expect to have the majority of public water accesses ready for public use on May 11.

According to the Minnesota DNR, there are about 3,000 public water access sites statewide, and the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division manages about half of them.

Access facilities on some rivers may not be usable due to high water or flood damage, and on the larger northern lakes due to ice.  However, boaters should expect to find good launch conditions at most public accesses for the fishing opener.

Nancy Stewart, the DNR’s water recreation program consultant, offers these suggestions for a safe and successful fishing opener:

  • Call ahead to get the latest report on the lake and access you intend to use.
  • From shore or dock, inspect the ramp above and below the water to ensure it is in good condition.
  • Wear a life jacket when inspecting an access while in the water.
  • Have a plan B – if a particular fishing opener lake access is unusable, try another public water access.

With cold water conditions, it's important to not just have life jackets in your boat, but actually put them on.

Follow the link below for more helpful resources and good luck out there!