This week, Trout Unlimited is joining partners in the sportsmen’s/women’s community to launch a #ResponsibleRecreation campaign, and we need your help!

 We are encouraging anglers to stay safe this year when they get outside by following a few basic steps: practice social distancing, wear a face covering, stay local when you fish, and always follow state orders and federal guidelines. It’s important that as we get out on the water this year, we think of our families, neighbors, and colleagues. The health of our communities depends on it.

Here’s what we recommend, given what we know about the threats posed by the coronavirus outbreak and the COVID-19 disease:

  1. Practice good social distancing on the water. The Centers for Disease Controlrecommends staying six feet apart from others. We’re taking it a step farther — we’re asking anglers to stay a rod’s length apart from their fishing partners whenever possible. The standard fly rod is nine feet long.
  2. Wear a multi-layered face covering when in the vicinity of other anglers. Even a double-layered cloth mask can help slow the spread of the virus.
  3. Avoid fishing from a boat with someone you haven’t been in lock-down with. In other words, if they’re not family, don’t fish from a boat with them — it’s just not possible to practice social distancing while in a drift boat.
  4. Drive to the river separately to get to the angling destination.
  5. Stay local, if at all possible, to limit exposure to others, and limit others’ exposure to you.

Fishing, when done correctly, can be a great way to get outside safely, but doing so wisely, particularly as many states begin to slowly re-open in the face of the outbreak, is vital for everyone.

Help spread the word by posting photos and videos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter of you and your family practicing social distancing while fishing. Be sure to use #ResponsibleRecreation and tag @troutunlimited to be entered to win some great prizes and TU swag.

The fish won’t mind if there’s nobody else there to see you catch it. Show @troutunlimited how you’re practicing #ResponsibleRecreation, and you could win a new fly rod.