WDFW Question of the Week: How to safely enjoy fishing, hunting and public lands?

(WDFW Question of the Week)

At Colville’s Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife office, we get a lot of questions from the public. One we’ve heard repeatedly is- fishing, hunting, and public lands are now open again- what do we need to know to safely enjoy them?

WDFW, Washington State Parks and the Department of Natural Resources were excited to reopen our lands and hunting and fishing on May 5. Before you go though, be
sure to check what’s open. It takes time to get some of the more remote areas fully opened and we would hate for you to waste a trip.

All facilities are day-use only for now, with no overnight camping. Restrooms will not be open at every site and some that are may not be stocked. So please bring your own soap, water, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. WDFW offices and fish hatcheries remain closed to the public but fish stocking continues.

Spring bear and turkey seasons are open but we ask you to please hunt close to home. Spring bear season will be extended to June 30 while spring turkey ends May 31 as
originally scheduled. You can get a refund or point restoration if you cannot hunt close to home by emailing wildthing@dfw.wa.gov or calling 509-892-1001.

We ask that you please enjoy the outdoors only with members of your immediate household. Recreating with others could expose you to the COVID virus. Also avoid
crowded areas. If some areas draw large crowds, there is the potential that they could be closed again. Continue to practice physical distancing in the outdoors, keeping six feet between you and those outside your immediate household. And, as always, wash your hands often.

There is a lot more information on reopening activities on the Department website at wdfw.wa.gov and if you have a question for the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife, send it to publicaffairs@dfw.wa.gov or call 509-563-5495. One question a week will be answered.