Recreational fishing closed down by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife photo

You can add recreational fishing to the list of things you can’t currently do.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on Wednesday temporarily closed all fishing and shellfishing as of midnight.

The closure is until at least 5 p.m. April 8.

It is the latest closure announced by the state following Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This is not a decision we take lightly, but it’s the right thing to do for the health and well-being of Washington’s families,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “Monday’s extraordinary order for the residents of our state to stay home requires all of us to work together to ensure these measures have the intended effect.”

With fewer recreational opportunities following the governor’s order, fishing was becoming too popular, the department said.

“We’ve seen an uptick in outdoor recreation at some locations in recent weeks as people have looked for ways to get outside,” said WDFW Fish Program Director Kelly Cunningham. “We’ve had reports of crowded boat ramps and busy fishing on some rivers, which runs counter to the governor’s direction to stay home and practice social distancing.”

Earlier, state-operated campgrounds, parks and trails were closed.