MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The ice is receding as Minnesota's fishing opener approaches, and that has resort owners breathing a little easier.

More lakes are expected to be ice-free when the walleye season opens Saturday than were clear for last year's opener. Gov. Mark Dayton had to fish on a river last year because lakes near Park Rapids were still frozen. But Gull Lake near Nisswa is expected to be wide open for the 2014 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener.

The Department of Natural Resources' online ice-out map showed that many lakes across the southern two-thirds of the state were ice-free by Friday. The dividing line closely followed U.S. Highway 2. Even north of that, many smaller lakes should be open and many larger lakes should at least have some open water come next weekend.