Usually opening day of fishing season is a happy event full of families and friends coming together to enjoy the day and hopefully have a tug on the line. This year, unfortunately, it is a very different opening day. The governor has closed county and state parks, as well as forest areas and campgrounds due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Many towns have closed their local parks. It is frustrating, I know, but we don’t have a choice.
Thankfully, the WMAs (wildlife management areas) are still open and there are towns who are keeping their parks open. The Delaware Water Gap also has limited access. For many of us, fishing isn’t just an enjoyable sport. It is a way to mentally renew and get back in touch with nature.
If you are looking for places you can still fish, I suggest you check out the Freshwater Fisheries page on the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife website. Look for access points along roads or you can hike in instead of parking specific lot locations.
It is also important to purchase your fishing license and trout stamp before heading out. The fees collected from the purchase help keep outdoor spaces available to us to use for hunting, fishing, hiking, and more.
Please make sure you maintain a social distance from those around you. Do not give the governor a reason to close these remaining areas. If you would like to see our county and state parks re-opened, sign Jay Weber’s petition and check out the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Facebook page. They are just two examples of advocacy taking place to try and regain access to our outdoor spaces.
Hopefully this will all be over soon and we can get back to our normal outdoor activities. In the meantime, do the best you can to remain socially distant and observe all guidelines when outside. Tight lines.