Joint WDFW and NWIFC statement on responsible recreation during COVID-19

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the treaty Indian tribes in western Washington are asking for anglers and beach-goers help to #RecreateResponsibly and practice #ResponsibleRecreation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

As beaches reopen and anglers begin to take part in summer fishing seasons, it’s important that we continue to look out for our communities by continuing to practice responsible recreation.

Anglers and beachgoers should check ahead of time if their intended destination, fueling station, landings, or boat launch are open. Some marinas or facilities — including all tribal facilities along the Pacific coast and Strait of Juan De Fuca — remain closed and are expected to remain so through the near future. Please avoid attempting to use these services. Tribes are working hard to protect the health and safety of their communities and appreciate your cooperation.

State fisheries managers are designing fishing seasons to encourage local trips consistent with the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. By saving overnight trips for later, you help to reduce the chance that you might accidentally bring COVID-19 back to your own community, or spread it to communities that may have limited healthcare resources.

In addition, have a backup plan if your planned site is open, but too crowded. Each of us should come prepared with face coverings for the unexpected situation when maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from others becomes impossible. And, exercise the self-control to stay home when we have even an inkling that we might be sick, or if we believe we may have been exposed to COVID-19.

While on the water, please be patient if you experience an overlap of commercial, tribal and recreational fishing. The late start to this year’s seasons means that a range of state and tribal fisheries will overlap. Please attempt to avoid gear entanglements and be respectful of the shared right to access these resources.

We’re in this together. By taking these extra steps to protect our communities and your fellow fisher, you’re helping to build a better outcome for all of us.

Written by

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

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