The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds folks of the dangers of venturing out on lakes that use winter aeration systems. Aeration systems help prevent winterkill of  of fish by adding oxygen to the water and in come cases it's used to protect shorelines from ice damage. Some 280 lakes in Minnesota will have aeration systems operating on them this winter.

Aeration creates areas of thin ice and open water. Open water areas can shift or change shapes depending on the weather. In some cases leaks may develop in air lines which then creates other areas of weak ice or open water.

Lakes in our area that have aeration systems include Albert Lea and Fountain Lake in Freeborn County, Circle Lake in Rice County and Lake Kohlmier in Steele County.

The Steele County United Way is almost to goal.