The ice is off the lakes and the Governors Fishing Opener will be here before we know it. If you are looking for a new place to fish this spring and summer, the DNR has a handy guide for you.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has created convenient maps for almost every county in the state, letting boaters and anglers know where they can publically access different bodies of water. So if you drive past a lake and say to yourself, "I'd like to fish there, I wonder where I would get on?" they have you covered.

These detailed county maps can tell you which lakes have public access, which ones have reported invasive species, whether or not you can trailer in your boat, or have to carry in, and even points out fishing piers. Check out the list of county maps that are available here.

As the spring and summer boating and fishing season draws closer, the DNR is reminding us all to make sure our boats and watercrafts are properly licensed, to make sure we wear lifejackets, and work to protect the waters.

Before leaving the water access or shoreline property, you MUST:
 Clean off ALL aquatic plants and animals
 Drain all water including bilge, livewells, baitwells, bait buckets, motor and ballast tanks
 Pull the plug and leave it out
Get into the habit of taking these three simple steps, and it will soon become part of your routine.

I had a teacher in high school who always said "this isn't our planet, we are borrowing it from our grandchildren." If we all take the steps to take care of our waterways, and public accesses, they will be there to use for generations to come.

Check out the Stearns County Public Water Access map, linked below.

Stearns County Public Water Access Map