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Fishing Opener Safety

Fishing Opener Safety Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES, MN--We are days away from Minnesota's Fishing Opener and if you are planning to drop a line this weekend or this season it's a good time now to prepare for a safe outing. Becker County Sheriff's Office Boat and Water Safety Deputy Adam Douglas has a few tips for those who are pulling the boat out of storage for first time this year. Douglas says before you throw your boat in the lake make sure it's running properly. Also, make sure the plug is pulled out while en route and put back in at the launch. Deputy Douglas also recommends looking over your equipment before heading out. Especially making sure your lifejackets are usable, coast guard approved and the proper fit for those who will be in the boat. Kids lifejackets are not acceptable for adults. He says there needs to be a lifejacket for everyone who is in the boat. Deputies will be out checking for registrations and lifejackets this weekend.

Also before heading out, Deputy Douglas says to make sure you know the "lay of the lake". He says if you are unfamiliar with a lake find a map of the body of water, whether with an app or at a local angling shop, so you know where there may be rocks or sandbars or other areas to avoid and know where you are going. Also, he says to let other people know where you plan to be and make sure your cellphone is charged.

Intoxicated anglers who choose to drive a boat also face a stiffer penalty this year. Becker County Sgt. Ty Warren explains that this is the first fishing opener following the implementation of a new law last August where if an angler gets a BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) it may affect their regular driving record. Warren says it doesn't matter what state your license may be from it could result in a drivers license suspension.

Sgt. Warren suggests if you will be drinking while angling to designate a sober driver ahead of time.

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