MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The unusually early start to spring following a weirdly mild winter is good news for fans of the Great Outdoors across Minnesota.

The early ice-out means spawning should finish early, and that could kick start the fishing season, which opens May 12th. Walleye are expected to finish spawning on many popular lakes well ahead of the opener.

The mild winter temperatures and lack of snow were good for Minnesota deer, pheasants and wild turkeys, which bodes well for hunting. But the continuing drought raises concerns for this fall's duck season.

The warm spring is already drawing campers to some Minnesota state parks.

However, mosquitoes have already made their first appearance, and ticks that can carry serious diseases are on the move.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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