WDFW Fishing Closure…
COVID, Statewide Lockdown, being called NonEssential (have you seen the smiles we deliver?)… Now a statewide fishing Closure?!! WTF!!
It was announced yesterday that WDFW was closing fishing. My gut reaction was “$H!tH3@ds!” However, after a few minutes to cool off and think I had a few more thoughts about the subject.
A simple “why” might help our understanding.
WDFW manages our state public lands and water ways for recreational hunting and fishing. Most of my audience do not visit the public docks, piers, walkways, and access points the state manages. These areas are to allow less mobile people have an opportunity at fishing. Think Edmonds pier, Pt Defiance, Maritime Heritage Park in Bellingham. These places all at certain points of the year can have countless people fishing from them. Not to mention the crazy amounts of lake docks, boat ramps, and public parks that folks stand shoulder to shoulder for the opportunity at a trout, salmon, or steelhead.
WDFW is dealing with a public health crisis that we have NEVER seen before. Something we do not really know how to deal with as professionals. While I personally doubt standing on a beach or in my boat fishing for cutthroat is contributing to the problem. Perhaps though standing in line at to grab a license or tackle probably is a issue.
Now add into the fact that WDFW could close these access points with high traffic and a high likelihood of anglers coming into contact with each other. Then they have to try to skirt the offending the old man who can’t walk a beach, the kid in a wheelchair who loves to fish, the grandma who wants to jig a few squid. I start saying “maybe they made the right choice.”
Let’s just take the two weeks off. Look at the bright side, you now have the opportunity to sign up for one of our online fly tying classes. Think about the steelhead might make it to their spawning grounds without 47 hooks being thrown at them. Even cutthroat will put some more weight on uninterrupted. Or take this opportunity to spend extra time with your family before disappearing on the water for the summer!