After a long winter and a month of a Stay at Home Order has Minneostans itching to get outside and soak in some fresh lake air. Luckily with 10,000 lakes in the state there is plenty of surface area to go around and allow for social distancing.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has offered some tips for staying healthy as we start off the boating season Social Distance Style.

Time on the water provides many benefits. We encourage local day use as a good way to stay healthy, reduce stress, and enjoy time with your family. While you’re enjoying those first boat rides of the season, protect yourself and others, and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Tip #1: Stay Close to Home

Pick lakes that are in your home area. Those smaller communities up north don't have the capabilities in clinics and hospitals to take care of a large influx of sick people. Plus there is potential to spread the illness without knowing you have it, and you could be bringing it to a previously unexposed area.

Tip #2: Plan Ahead

Fuel up, and pack your snacks and drinks ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stops on the way to the lake.

Tip #3: Boat With Your Household

We all want to go boating with a bunch of friends we haven't seen in forever but now is not the time.

Tip #4: Distance at the Dock

Be patient at the access and keep your distance between other boaters loading in and out of the water.

Tip #5: No Rafting or Tying Boats

Just like at the access, maintain your distance from other people out on the water.

Remember to always wear a life vest and all normal fishing seasons and regulations apply. To get all of the most recent information on boating in Minnesota, visit the DNR website.