Fish and Game: Travel allowed for sport, personal use fishing with COVID-19 precautions

Published: Apr. 13, 2020 at 1:24 PM AKDT
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The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released five guidelines sport and personal use fishermen must follow to avoid spreading COVID-19 if traveling to other communities to fish.

The guidelines were released by the Department Monday. They are:

1) Try to find the resource you intend to pursue as close to your home residence as possible.

2) Find out local mandates in communities through which you plan to travel before you leave. You must abide by them.

3) Totally provision your trip from your community of origin. Don’t plan on buying food, drinks or even fuel (if possible) after you begin your trip and until you return home.

4) Practice social distancing while sport or personal use fishing with anyone not considered part of your immediate household, including while traveling from your community to your fishing location.

5) Wear face coverings as suggested in Health Alert 010 issued April 3, 2020.

The Governor's office confirmed to KTUU Monday evening that Alaskans may travel to fish, if they follow the guidelines.

The Governor's

allows for Alaskans to travel for critical personal needs. Sport and personal use fishing are not considered essential infrastructure under the state's guidelines.

The clarification was

. By Monday evening, Fish and Game had clarified that travel between communities for fishing is still allowed, but Alaskans should take precautions to keep themselves around them safe and healthy.

Sport fishermen were happy to hear the news:

“Governor Dunleavy, Commissioner Vincent-Lang, and Commissioner Crum have been very responsive to working with the public to ensure opportunity for Alaskans to harvest food, while working to protect the public health,” said Ben Mohr, Executive Director of KRSA in a statement. “We believe the Administration recognizes that hunting and fishing in Alaska are critical activities.”

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story said Alaska sport and personal use fishermen were not allowed to travel to other communities based on Fish and Game's press release that stated that sport and personal use fishing were not "identified as supporting critical infrastructure or a critical personal need." Fish and Game has since released a clarification.
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