Undated (Learfield News Service) - The Minnesota DNR is warning about the dangers of cold water for the fishing opener weekend.

Although the ice is off nearly all lakes in the state, water temps are still extremely cold. DNR spokeswoman Lisa Dugan says falling into the frigid water causes an involuntary gasp and water inhalation, and even strong swimmers can become incapacitated quickly. She says wearing a life jacket "gives people a fighting chance."

State officials say more than 30 percent of all boating fatalities in Minnesota happen in cold water - and most of the victims were not wearing life jackets.