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Restrictions in place as recreational fishing reopens statewide

Staff Writer | May 4, 2020 11:48 PM

Recreational fishing reopens today, with anglers reminded to follow guidelines and rules put in place to ensure safety.

While freshwater fisheries reopen, saltwater fisheries, halibut fisheries, shrimp fisheries, and shell harvest opportunities remain closed, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, or WDFW. Many public access water sites may remain closed on May 5 while state lands reopen.

Anglers should be prepared to have alternative plans in case their destination remains closed or appears too congested. Those coming out to fish should come prepared with their own toilet paper, soap and water, or hand sanitizer, WDFW advised.

All camping in wildlife areas and state access areas remains closed.

“It’s on all of us to follow these guidelines and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 with future closures,” WDFW fish program director Kelly Cunningham said in a press release.

Chinook fishing in the Columbia River, above and below Bonneville Dam, is scheduled to reopen May 5, 7, 9, and 13, with a section of the river open for sockeye on May 16.

Anglers must have a current license for any fishery in the state, with the new license year beginning on April 1.

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