The lingering cold weather is delaying ice-out on Minnesota lakes and rivers, which could make it difficult for DNR crews to have the 1500 public water accesses it manages ready in time for the May 12 fishing opener. Every year, repairs are needed at hundreds of sites, because freezing temperatures and ice cause concrete to crack and buckle on the ramps. In some years, crews can get a head start on that work, even before ice-out, but so far this year the snow has prevented them from assessing damage, and the ramps can’t be re-leveled until the ground thaws. DNR crews will work hard to install as many docks as possible at ice free waterbodies before the fishing opener.
- See where ice-out has occurred statewide
- Contact the nearest DNR Parks and Trails Area Office for information about the status of ramps and docks at specific lakes or rivers
- 2018 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener
- Boat and Water Safety
- Learn more about boat and water safety education
Trailering and Launching
Public water accesses are open 24 hours a day unless posted. They are available for both trailer and carry-in. 12-18 foot boats can be launched at most launch ramps; some can handle larger boats. There are no launch fees, unless the access is located in a park requiring a vehicle permit.
Clean in. Clean out.
Clean your watercraft, drain all water, dispose of unused bait.
Learn what you need to do. »