The Odessa Record -

By Jeremy Burnham
The Times 

Go Fish!

Outdoor recreation to reopen May 5


Last updated 4/30/2020 at 8:31am

Roger Harnack

Sprague Lake at sunrise April 27

DAVENPORT - At least two county lakes will open May 5 to fishing.

Lake Roosevelt and Sprague Lake will open the same day Gov. Jay Inslee is allowing state-managed outdoor recreation to reopen.

While Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is federally managed, officials said they will follow the guidance offered by Inslee, who announced the opening of fishing, hunting, hiking and golf during a April 27 press conference.

Until further notice, all camping remains closed at Lake Roosevelt and elsewhere in the state.

Fishermen and boaters should expect restrooms to be closed, and garbage services curtailed to protect recreationalists and employees from possible coronavirus exposure.

Boat launch access will depend on water level, officials said.

"Based on the data we have now received, we are close to the point where we can enjoy the outdoors again," Inslee said during a 2:30 p.m. press conference Monday, April 27. "This includes fishing, hunting and the ability to play golf."

The announcement allows residents to fish, hunt, hike and golf, provided they stay close to home and keep at least 6 feet apart.

Residents who have "flu-like symptoms" are still barred from recreating publicly.

While Inslee said reopening was "data-driven," the announcement came just two days after what should have been the opening of lowland lake fishing season.

Across Washington, hundreds of fishermen have protested for two weeks, calling on the governor to "Let Us Fish."

According to the governor, boat launches, parks and publicly owned lands managed by the state Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources and Washington State Parks are among the areas allowed to reopen.

The decision to reopen municipal parks and recreation venues will be determined by local officials, he said.

Several state-managed areas will not reopen, either, State Parks and Recreation Commission Director Don Hoch said.

According to Hoch, a list of park openings will be announced later this week.

Inslee cautioned that the openings could be temporary if residents don't follow his rules or if cases of coronavirus start to increase.

"This is a decision we make today," Inslee said. "But if this virus were to spring back, we may have to roll back these measures again."

"All of our campgrounds will remain closed until further notice," Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz added.

Golfers venturing out are limited to "two-somes," if golfers are not related; "four-somes" if they live in the same home.

- Publisher Roger Harnack contributed to this report.


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