Thousands of Boat Docks Won't Be Ready For Fishing Opener

Updated: 05/04/2013 9:15 AM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

Our cold and snowy spring means the Department of Natural Resources is warning boaters about some new dangers on the water.

There are about 3,000 boat launches in the state. Courtland Nelson of the DNR said they only have about a thousand working.

"With this back up now of weather we're really wanting people to know, that we may not get some of these sites open," Nelson said.

Nelson says, we are 10 days out from the fishing opener here in Minnesota. He says, right now, lakes in Central and Northern Minnesota still have ice. Nelson says, your best bet for dropping anchor and casting out is from the Twin Cities and Southern Minnesota. Or you could head to a nearby river.

"The river levels may be high and there may be other conditions, fishing conditions that people aren't used to . There's certainly a greater safety issue when you are fishing on a river that when you're fishing on a lake," Nelson said.

Mike Hurley of Bayport Marina says, because of the ice, they only have about 30 boats in the water right now. This time last year they all their boats in the water. He doesn't recommend fishermen putting their boats in the water with ice. The cost is to high.

"It could be in the thousands. With the water damage, if the engine goes in the water it could total a boat," Hurley said.