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DNR asks people to adhere to social distancing guidelines while boating

Boating is allowed under Governor Walz's Stay-at-Home order.

A sign of spring emerged late last week with an ice out declared on Lake Minnetonka.

Now many of us, stuck at home, may be hoping to get out on the water.

"It's going to be a super cabin fever. Super charged cabin fever," said Gabriel Jabbour at Tonka Bay Marina.

He is also the former mayor of Orono.

His crew, who are deemed essential workers, are getting the boats ready while also keeping their distance from other workers and the public.

"They're going to be new routines we have to go through to handle some of those people, but I suggesst they be patient and be very safe," said Jabbour.

Boating is allowed under Governor Walz's stay-at-home order.

However, you still must adhere to the social distancing guidelines on the water.

"Prepare as much as you can to limit all interactions," said Lisa Dugan with the Minnesota DNR.

She is asking people to stay on the lake closest to their home, don't tie up boats together, and only have immediate family on board.

"So that would mean not inviting extra guests into your boat, other family members because that's impossible to social distance if you're on a boat," said Dugan.

A DNR spokesperson says conservation officers will be out reminding people of the social distancing guidelines, but won't be stopping anyone at this time.

Back at Tonka Bay, Gabriel will also do his part to educate those getting out on the water.

"Quite a few people might want to go out boating, hopefully they do responsible boating," said Jabbour.

The DNR says all of their public access sites are open at this time except for two closed by Lake of the Woods County in northern Minnesota.

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