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December 20, 2011

BARRON - Several lakes in Barron, Burnett, Polk and Washburn counties will have sections of open water resulting from aeration systems used to sustain aquatic life, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The systems are operated by governmental units or lake groups and cause areas on the lakes to remain ice-free.

"These systems," said Brian Spangler, DNR fisheries technician, "add oxygen to the water all winter and help prevent winterkill of fish and other organisms."

Snowmobilers, anglers, and other lake users should use caution on these lakes because of open water. The open water areas, as required by state statue, must be clearly marked -- DANGER - OPEN WATER, WARNING - ICE HOLES, or DANGER - THIN ICE -- and cordoned off using fence posts connected by rope with reflective tape or reflectors. The "fencing" must be at least 30 inches from the surface and no more than 54 inches high.

The lakes with public access that have aeration systems include:

DNR officials note that modifications are being made to the aeration system on the north end of Barron County's Prairie Lake to accommodate relocation of a bog island and extra caution should be taken.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Spangler, DNR fisheries technician, 715-637-6861

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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