The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is advising the public that, while most of its 1,700 statewide public water accesses have undergone basic safety maintenance, docks and other amenities will not all be in place before the May 9 fishing opener.

“I want Minnesotans to know that we are working hard to ready our access sites for the fishing season,” said Sarah Strommen, DNR commissioner. “Ramps are functional at most sites, but not all of the usual amenities like docks will be fully deployed by this weekend’s opener. There will be plenty of great places to fish and boat close to home.”

All DNR-managed public water accesses are open for use. However, the water may be high, the ramp may have some damage or the dock may not be installed.

As well, hundreds of sites – while functional – may need additional repairs, because winter’s freezing temperatures and ice caused concrete to crack and buckle. Anglers should exercise extra caution when launching and loading boats this spring.

Furthermore, some accesses managed by local or federal partners may not be open by the May 9 fishing opener, and boaters may therefore experience greater traffic at nearby DNR-managed accesses.

The DNR manages about half of the approximately 3,000 public water accesses, or boat launches, in Minnesota.

More information is available on the DNR Web site at

Boaters and anglers can e-mail the DNR information center at or call 888-646-6367 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

– Photo submitted by Derick Doberstein