Mike Tuhy, owner and operator of the Tower Rock Lodge in Kenai casts for trout in the Upper River Kenai on Oct. 11, 2017. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Mike Tuhy, owner and operator of the Tower Rock Lodge in Kenai casts for trout in the Upper River Kenai on Oct. 11, 2017. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

State offers guidance to anglers

Sport and personal use fishing in Alaska will remain open consistent with health mandates.

The Department of Fish and Game is reminding Alaskans to practice caution during outings for sport and personal use fishing.

Sport and personal use fishing in Alaska will remain open “consistent with published regulations during the 2020 season, subject to compliance with health mandates,” a Monday letter from the Department of Fish and Game commissioner’s office said.

Subsistence fishing remains open and unrestricted.

The department’s letter was sent Monday afternoon after the department issued a press release highlighting ways Alaskans could slow the spread of COVID-19 and take advantage of nearby fisheries.

“The Department understands the value of these activities to Alaskans and supports Alaskans having the opportunity to get out and fish to feed their families and fill their freezers,” the letter said.

A health mandate issued March 27 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy prohibits travel between communities, and will be reevaluated April 21. The travel ban does not include Alaskans traveling to “fishing locations,” according to the Department of Fish and Game’s letter.

For residents traveling to participate in sport or personal use fisheries outside of their communities of residence, the public is asked to follow a handful of guidelines, outlined in the department’s press release and letter.

The state is asking that Alaskans fish as close to home as possible, research and abide by local mandates of the communities they travel through, buy all necessary food, drinks and fuel in their own community and practice social distancing while fishing. The department is also “highly suggesting” anglers wear face coverings.

“Adherence to these stipulations will allow Alaskans the opportunity to fish and put food on their tables while taking measures to protect public health and allow time to build needed health infrastructure,” the department’s letter said.

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