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Washington State closes to recreational fishing

March 30th, 2020 / By: / COVID-19, Industry News, News

The state of Washington is closed to recreational fishing and shellfishing through April 8, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and several other states are restricting access in their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

To support the action by Washington, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced it would be closing recreational salmon and steelhead fishing along the Columbia River, as well as the fisheries, which are managed by both states, according to KEPR TV, a Vancouver, Wash., NBC affiliate.

The “Walleye Capital,” a region in northern Minnesota, closed several ramps on the Rainy River to discourage the rush of visitor traffic that comes with early-spring walleye and sturgeon fishing, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Joe Henry, executive director of Lake of the Woods Tourism, told the newspaper the boat ramp closings were an unwelcome surprise for fishing guides and other area businesses that thrive on fishing traffic.

“It’s really a sad, sad deal,’’ Henry said. “But people are trying to do things for the right reasons.”

People with private access to the river will be able to fish, he said, but closing the public ramps to vehicle traffic will undoubtedly stymie the majority of would-be anglers.