Following weeks of conversation and debate regarding the impending opening of trout season in California during the Coronavirus outbreak, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has officially announced the delay of the season in four rural counties.
Following requests local officials, fishing season will be delayed in Mono, Inyo, and Alpine counties in order to qualm concerns of localized Covid-19 breakouts. Fishing season will also be delayed on the North Fork Yuba River and Downie River as requested by Sierra County. The delay to the opener in these counties expires May 31, 2020.
All other areas will commence with the usual trout opener on April 25th.
“After talking with the county representatives, we agreed this was a necessary step toward being responsive to local needs in this public health emergency,” said CDFW Director Charlton Bonham. “These counties asked for our help, and we responded.”
After Coordination with Local Government, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Delays Trout Season Openers in Three Counties https://t.co/oMm6oT8cCR— California Department of Fish and Wildlife (@CaliforniaDFW) April 22, 2020
The decision to delay fishing season was highly debated in CDFW’s first-ever tele-meetings, in which county officials, state fishing leadership and the general public were able to voice their opinions of the proposed closure. While the first “virtual” meeting on April 8th was a hodgepodge of unmuted callers simultaneously rambling their disapproval of state government overreach during the pandemic, the second meeting went on with much cooler heads and only a few technical glitches
While fishing is open for most of the state, fishermen are encouraged to use safe social distancing practices.
“I understand Californians desperately need the outdoors for solace, reinvigoration and spirituality, especially so right now,” said Bonham. “The proposal was never about a statewide permanent closure. It is about being responsive to local needs in this public health emergency, where we must do all we can as Californians to help each other make it through this together. We intend to use this authority surgically and based on local needs and knowledge.”
While fishing may be open for much of California, there are many access points and boat launches that remain closed. Do your research before heading out on the water. Merry Fishmas!