THE WHITE ELEPHANT
May 31, 2020
Anglers can fish for free June 6-7, 2020
Anglers can forget the fishing license June 6-7, but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is still asking everyone to remember to recreate responsibly for this year’s “Free Fishing Weekend” to keep their communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s great to see that based on our conversations with public health officials, conditions are right to be able to continue on the department’s long-standing practice of offering a Free Fishing Weekend,” said Kelly Cunningham, WDFW’s fish program director. “This is about providing everyone an opportunity to give fishing a try—in a safe and responsible way.”
Anglers will need to follow state guidelines and health advice for the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to recreate in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping six feet apart.
Anglers should check ahead of time if their preferred destination or launch is open. Some local marinas or facilities – including some tribal lands – remain closed, and anglers should be prepared to change plans if their first choice is closed or too congested.
Before heading out, anglers should also check the current fishing regulations valid June 6 and 7 at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/. While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, rules such as size limits, bag limits, catch record card requirements (a fee is required for a halibut catch record card) and area closures will still be in effect.
Halibut and razor clam harvest on the coast and intertidal shellfish in Puget Sound will remain closed due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.
State public lands managers to reopen campgrounds in 22 counties
The reopening applies to campgrounds and various marine facilities. A list of open campgrounds and marinas can be found on the State Parks website.
Cabins, yurts, and other overnight accommodations remain closed until further notice. Group campsites will remain closed as well.
Visitors with reservations for overnight accommodations that are not opened will receive a full refund for their trips scheduled during the closure. Parks will contact affected campers. No action is required by reservation holders.
Campers are advised to make reservations for camping at a state park. This ensures they will have a camping spot when they reach their destination and reduces interactions with staff.
"This is an important milestone for the public and for parks," said Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Director, Don Hoch. "This year, it's especially important for Washingtonian's to have access to outdoor recreation. We know that access to the outdoors is good for everyone's health and wellbeing. Camping is a big part of that outdoor experience."