“We can have a great opener and stay safe,” says DNR Commissioner.
As Minnesotan anglers eagerly await Saturday’s fishing opener, caution is being recommended in how fishers commute and launch to combat COVID-19. Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen wishes to keep the tradition of fishing in Minnesota through the current pandemic while maintaining safety for communities who experience significant traffic from anglers. Specifically, Strommen recommends fishing “close to home” which the DNR defines as being within a single gas tank round trip.
- “Let’s remember that part of the fishing opener tradition is teaching the next generation,” Strommen said. “Let’s teach them to protect our fellow Minnesotans by finding the many wonderful fishing opportunities we have close to home.”
Additional recommendations from the DNR for fishers includes
- Boat fishing with only members of immediate household
- Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet during launching and loading boats
- Be aware that typical spring maintenance may not have occurred at all DNR-managed lakes
- Continue to combat invasive species when loading and transporting boats
The continued ability for Minnesotans to participate in recreation such as fishing or hiking at state parks has been a feature of Governor Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order that was recently extended through May 18th. Anglers looking to get on the lake should be sure to review the DNR’s fishing webpage and all applicable regulations normally in place. DNR Fisheries Chief Brad Parsons says sales of licenses are up 40% over this time last year, over 360,000 currently statewide.