Family fun has been a challenge during this time of “stay at home” and “social distancing”.

However, the warmth of spring and start of fishing season provides families with many opportunities for enjoyable, but safe, outdoor fun in Minnesota.

The State of Minnesota guidelines for fishing include many of the same rules and suggestions that should apply to all other outdoor activities like golf, hiking, and picnicking. These guidelines include:

• Stay close to home – The State of Minnesota suggests you should not venture farther than one tank of gas will allow you to travel to and from your outdoor destination.

• Only travel with your household members – You should only travel with those household members who have been living with you under the current “stay at home” rules.

• Maintain social distancing – Continue to maintain proper social distancing with those people who are not part of your immediate family household. Boats, docks and golf carts do not allow for proper social distancing from others.

• No overnight stays – The state is still recommending that people do not include overnight stays on trips away from home. The state’s campgrounds are still closed to any overnight camping.

• Bring all of the supplies you need – It is recommended that you bring all necessary supplies with you to reduce the need for you to shop outside your local area. This also gives you the chance to support your local businesses who have all been adversely affected by COVID-19 rules.

These fishing guidelines and safety practices should apply to all activities you and your family choose to enjoy in Minnesota’s great outdoors.

Yes, it is time to soak up some sun, catch some fish, knock around a golf ball and enjoy nature at nearby locations. We are all suffering from cabin fever of a greater sort.

Let’s just make sure that we all continue to keep ourselves, our families and our neighbors well by maintaining current safety rules and guidelines that have been set out by the State of Minnesota.

Here’s hoping we all, each-and-every one of us, can come together again once COVID-19 is brought under control, whenever that may be.

For more outdoor ideas and safety guidelines visit the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state. mn.us/.

- Mark Trefry is a youth development manager for United Community Action Partnership