ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Officials expect nearly 500,000 people to head out onto Minnesota's lakes and streams for this weekend's opening of fishing season.
The cold winter means some lakes in far northern Minnesota and northeastern Minnesota still have some ice on them. But the ice has been receding fast this past week.
Officials warn that anglers need to be cautious wherever they go. Department of Natural Resources boat and water safety specialist Kara Owens warns that falling into icy water can be deadly. Cold-water shock can cause cardiac arrest or an involuntary gasp that causes drowning.
And water levels are high because of all the recent rain, she says, so currents and waves could be challenging for even the most experienced boaters. She says that's why it's important to wear a life jacket.
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