ST. PAUL — A sport fishing group says that Minnesota's coronavirus travel restrictions put a damper on one of the most popular recreational activities in the state.

Minnesotans have always been allowed to hunt, fish and take part in other outdoor activities under the stay at home order Gov. Tim Walz issued last month, but only if they stay within a reasonable distance of their homes. But MN-FISH, a state fishing foundation and coalition, is asking Walz to make an exception for fishermen and boaters itching to travel elsewhere in the state.

"We strongly support Gov. Walz’s position on getting outdoors and believe that statewide travel for anglers and boaters is inherently safe with existing social distancing practices already in place," group president Ron Schara said in a statement.

The group made their request public on Friday, April 17, the same day that Walz issued a new executive order that reopened golf courses and shooting ranges across Minnesota. While that order also permits bait shops and marinas to reopen, outdoor equipment shops, guided fishing businesses and charter boat services remain closed.

Walz's office could not immediately be reached for comment on the group's request.