April 20, 2020 –
The Alaska Sport and Personal Use Fishing COVID-19 Response Group today released guidance to promote responsible fishery access for individual anglers and Alaska fishing businesses. The guidance is available at www.KRSA.com/COVID-19.
As Alaska moves towards safely re-opening, the sportfishing community is committed to doing so in a responsible manner. The website offers resources for anglers, including precautions people may consider taking to protect themselves, their neighbors, and the communities near where they fish. Fishing businesses will find resources to help them operate under the “Essential Business” designation they have received. In addition, important community-specific travel information and a listing of Public Health Mandates, Health Alerts, and Guidelines are presented.
Coordinated by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA), the Alaska Sport and Personal Use Fishing COVID-19 Response Group is an ad-hoc group of leaders from across Alaska’s various sportfishing sectors. The group was established to identify and recommend best practices, and consult with the State of Alaska, to maintain sport, guided sport, and personal use fishing opportunities, and associated travel, consistent with public health mandates during the COVID-19 crisis.
Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang (Fish and Game) and Commissioner Adam Crum (Health and Social Services) offered the following joint statement:
“The sport and personal use fishing communities have been proactive in working with the State to develop guidelines for the public which, in many cases, go above and beyond mandated precautions. We look forward to working with the Unified Command to gain their approval for the draft community/workforce protective plans. This is another great example Alaskans rising to the occasion to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while maintaining our unique Alaskan way of life.”
“It’s important to understand that this situation may demand change in some of the traditional ways Alaskans fish,” said Ben Mohr, Executive Director of KRSA. “For many people, fishing for food and fun is a core part of Alaskan life – but it does not receive priority over public health and safety.”