Coronavirus Claims California Fishing Season Opener // Adventure Journal

For the past few weeks, Chris Leonard has fought against the one thing he loves most — fishing.

The Mammoth Lakes resident has been one of the most outspoken Eastern Sierra fly fishing guides pushing for a delay to the season opener. It’s counterintuitive to his livelihood and joy, but he’s concerned about tourism in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. And he’s not the only one.

Public officials in Alpine, Inyo, and Mono counties wrote to state officials a few weeks ago asking for a delay to the annual season opener, which is affectionately known as “Fishmas” and takes place on the last Saturday of April each year.

An influx of tourism will unduly expose residents to the coronavirus in regions that already have some of the highest infection rates in the state and could put more stress on their limited rural health care facilities, they said.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton Bonham announced the decision to postpone the season in four counties yesterday. The temporary delay expires on May 31.

Read the full story at Adventure Journal.

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