We hope this correspondence finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
This is a painful message to write because we understand how much you love fishing and visiting the Upper Delaware River watershed and how much we enjoy having you here. But we are in a crisis. The dangers of the highly contagious SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is not something we are taking lightly.
The undersigned organizations, businesses, and local governments urge out of area residents to abide by state mandates, local directives, and the recommendations of the CDC to stay home until at least April 30 or until the dangers posed by COVID-19 are dramatically reduced and “Stay at Home” orders are lifted.
We are concerned for everyone’s health, both yours and the health of the residents of the Upper Delaware River watershed.
The stress levels in these small communities are elevated from the realization that medical care and other critical public services are in short supply. We’ve been overwhelmed by the sensitivity to this growing problem expressed by so many seasonal visitors to our area, including the angling community. A heartfelt “Thank you” for your concern and understanding!
One common question we’ve all been asked numerous times is, “How can I help?” That question has an easy answer. Please postpone or delay your visit to the area until there is no longer a risk of transporting a virus from here to your home, or from your home to here. This virus can’t move on its own. It needs people to transport it and its highly contagious nature makes staying home the first and best defense.
How we as anglers and recreational users of the area react and behave in this moment will be remembered long after this pandemic passes.
We will miss you this early spring. That’s one thing that’s certain. You’re not alone in feeling disappointed.
If you must go fishing (and believe us, we understand that) stay in your local area and practice social distancing.
Stay six feet from other people at a bare minimum. Studies show that this can be extended to 27 to 30 feet depending on conditions, like being downwind from someone on a windy day.
Violations of social distancing include driving with another person in your vehicle, being in a boat with someone else, parking too close to someone, and traveling out of your local area during this heightened period of infection. Not following these rules could lead to our waters being closed to fishing. This has already happened in several other states, with one state even banning recreational boat use. That would eliminate even your local fishing opportunities. I’m sure none of us want to see that.
Compliance to these protocols will serve to put this behind us sooner rather than later when we can once again enjoy the sport we love and the people we care about. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you when the coast is clear.
Signed: Adrian LaSorte Guide Services, Border Water Outfitters, Connecticut Council of Trout Unlimited, Cross Current Guide Service, Delaware River Club, Deposit Big M, Deposit Community Park, Deposit Little League Foundation, Deposit Lumberjack Festival, Dette Flies, East Branch Outfitters, Friends of the Upper Delaware River, Gateway Shuttle Service, Hancock Area Chamber of Commerce, Hancock Gateway Tourism Council, Hank & Chico Shuttle Service, Lee’s Guide Service, NY Council of Trout Unlimited, Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited, River of Life Outdoor Adventures, River Run Restaurant, Town of Colchester, Town of Hancock, Trout Unlimited National, Trout Unlimited, Shehawken Chapter, Village of Deposit, Village of Hancock West Branch Angler, Whitetail Country Fly Shop