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– If you need to travel much distance to get to the Brule River’s steelhead fishing opener on Saturday, you probably shouldn’t, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are both under “stay at home” orders, though both allow travel for outdoor recreation, and state parks, trails and fishing waters remain open. But the Wisconsin DNR says the intent of the order is to stop the virus from spreading, and a busy first day on the Brule would be counter to that.

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“We are encouraging anglers to fish water bodies in their communities,” said Sarah Hoye, the agency’s communications director. “The biggest thing we can do to prevent the spread of this is to keep people as close to home as possible.”

Even those driving the 30-some miles from Duluth should think twice about making the trek, she said.

“We all know the benefits of getting outdoors — physical and mental benefits,” Hoye said. “At the end of the day, social distancing works. We are really asking the public for their help to slow this thing.”

A larger steelhead run arrives between August and November. In fall 2018 there were 5,616 steelhead counted, compared to 788 in spring 2019, according to DNR data.

Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496