MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging anglers to use caution during this weekend's fishing opener.
The warning comes as many lakes across the northern half of the state remain ice-locked.
Top Walleye lakes in the state, many of which still have thick ice, may not be open. Although ice on northern lakes has been melting and breaking up in the wind, reservoirs and smaller lakes have little to no ice and could be a better bet.
Nancy Stewart, of the DNR, says she if a public access docks are open, consider the lake open. But if there isn't a dock in, she said to take extra caution and be sure to check the concrete planks for damage under the water's surface to prevent boat damage.
Stewart also reminds anglers to dress for the water temperature, and not the air temperature. She says it's a good idea to pack a pair of waders in case you do have to get in the water for any reason as well as carrying a life jacket.
If you're headed north to fish this weekend the best bet is to call ahead to bait shops or a local DNR office for the current conditions.
DNR Lake Ice Out Map: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_out/index.html
Bait Shops by lake: http://www.baitnet.com/states/minnesota_baitshops.php
Find a local DNR Office: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/index.html
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