OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has temporarily closed recreational fishing and shellfishing statewide in the wake of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
The closure is expected to last until at least April 8. WDFW will re-evaluate on April 6 whether the closure needs to be extended.
“This is not a decision we take lightly, but it’s the right thing to do for the health and well-being of Washington families,” stated WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “Monday’s extraordinary order for the residents of our state to stay home requires all of us to work together to ensure these measures have the intended effect.”
Fishery managers have reported anglers crowding fishing spots as COVID-19 concerns have continued.
“We’ve seen an uptick in outdoor recreation at some locations in recent weeks as people have looked for ways to get outside,” WDFW Fish Program Director Kelly Cunningham stated. “We’ve had reports of crowded boat ramps and busy fishing on some rivers, which runs counter to the governor’s direction to stay home and practice social distancing.”
WDFW Enforcement officers remain on duty and will be enforcing the closures.
All state-managed parks, wildlife areas and water access areas are also closed, along with camping and other overnight accommodations on state recreation lands.