At the time of this writing (3/27/20) news was coming in from all around the nation of various outdoor access being closed throughout the United States. Here are the ones we have confirmed.
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Texas: As part of COVID-19 operational changes, state parks will be suspending all cash transactions where feasible. Visitors are encouraged to utilize the self-pay stations, the online reservation system and credit card transactions at this time. Other reduced services include the suspension of equipment rentals and interpretive programs.
Park visitors should check the Texas State Parks Alert Map regularly for the latest information about the status of parks.
In addition to the operational changes at Texas State Parks, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement and boat registration offices, including the license and boat registration counter at TPWD’s Austin headquarters, will be closed to public visitation. Texans needing to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, boat and motor owner transfers, and boat registration renewals are encouraged to visit tpwd.texas.gov or call the department at 512-389-4800.
These changes will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. TPWD will continue to monitor the evolving health situation with local and state officials and will adjust operations at department sites and facilities as necessary. The public is encouraged to follow the department’s social media accounts and monitor its website for the most up to date information.
Louisiana: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary, Jack Montoucet, signed a declaration of emergency to delay the opening of the recreational red snapper season. This delay will allow the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) to gather public input and set the season at their May 7, 2020 meeting. The normal LWFC meeting in April was canceled due to the COVID-19 emergency.
“By rule, the recreational red snapper season opens the Saturday before Palm Sunday (April 4 this year), unless the LWFC or the LDWF Secretary provides an alternative prior to that day. Due to the importance of this recreational fishery to our anglers, Secretary Montoucet has chosen to delay the opening and allow for additional public input, rather than set a season-opening without this issue being discussed in a public meeting.”
Washington (State): According to Q6 News from Spokane, “Recreational fishing and shellfishing has been closed by the WDFW statewide, closing all wildlife areas and water access areas for at least two weeks beginning Wednesday, March 25.”
Oregon: Following the announcement by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) that it will close all recreational fisheries in the state of Washington, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that it will close recreational salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River, effective Thursday, March 26 at 11:59 p.m.
Oregon and Washington jointly manage fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River bordering both states and seek to have concurrent regulations. At this time, other ongoing fisheries in Oregon remain unchanged, and fishing for species other than salmon and steelhead will still be allowed in Oregon portions of the Columbia River as described in permanent rules.
Anglers are reminded to follow the rules for social distancing and maintain at least 6 feet distance from other people and minimize non-essential travel, as directed in an executive order issued earlier this week by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. ODFW also asks that anglers and the public help ensure the safety of ODFW employees they may encounter in the field who are doing their jobs by maintaining adequate social distance.
As with the Washington closure, ODFW anticipates the Columbia River salmon and steelhead fishing closure lasting at least until April 8, 2020.
ODFW regrets any inconvenience to anglers and appreciates everyone coming together to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Colorado: Colorado State Parks remain open, but Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) will close all playgrounds, campgrounds, dispersed camping and camping facilities (including yurts and cabins) at Colorado’s state parks as well as camping at State Wildlife Areas effective Thursday, March 26 until further notice. This action has been taken based on The Stay-At-Home Order from Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the advice of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).