State Bans Recreational Fishing Due to COVID-19

Most states have been encouraging people to get outdoors and go fishing with some even waiving the need for a license, but Washington state is going in the complete opposite direction and closing recreational fishing across the state,

According to the Yakima Herald-Republic, The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will close recreational fishing and shellfish harvesting statewide for two weeks starting at midnight Thursday to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

They are doing this to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order issued that was published on Monday.

There reasoning is that the state’s steelhead and salmon fisheries require face to face surveys per the Endangered Species Act.

The wildlife department will reevaluate things on April 6th to determine if the closure needs to be extended.

The department also put out that Wildlife Officers will remain on duty to enforce the closures.

I understand not wanting the face to face interactions, but it seems over the top to ban all fishing and not just the species affected by the ESA requirement.

The department of Wildlife should be encouraging people to get outdoors not putting obstacles in their way.