COVID-19 Catches: Social distancing doesn’t stop Great Lakes fishing

“We are closely monitoring the situation and will make any changes that conditions warrant,” she said. “Fishing on boats would be considered an outdoor activity as long as it otherwise complies with social distancing guidance.”

Wickham said wildlife and parks and watercraft officers are still on duty and patrolling the same areas they always have, including responding to calls and enforcing laws.

“But they are practicing social distancing, so they won’t be going to club meetings, events or routinely checking fishing licenses or otherwise approaching individuals in non-emergency situations,” she said.

Likewise, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation[2] officials say it’s still a great idea to go fishing.

“Anglers can continue to fish throughout New York state, including Lake Erie,” said TJ Pignataro, NYSDEC spokesman. “Get some fresh air and recreate locally to the fullest extent possible.”

Like all officials, Pignataro emphasized safety first, including seeking less-crowded fishing areas and keeping distance between others. Boating, though, could provide a problem when it comes to safe social distancing. And in New York, bait and tackle shops and marinas could be closed.

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