Slow Reopening In Sonoma County Allowing More Fishing Ops

Speaking with my family and friends in the Bay Area makes me realize how strict the stay-at-home/shelter-in-place orders are. Face masks are required if you go into any grocery store, restaurant or any other essential business, and in my home county – San Mateo, where most of my immediate family still lives – residents aren’t supposed to travel more than 5 miles from home unless it’s to make an essential trip.

So it had to be a welcome relief for anglers further north in the Bay Area that restrictions there are being lifted ever so slowly. The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports that fishing will now be allowed by residents along the Sonoma County coast. Here are some more details:

Hundreds of recreational fishermen and women denied access to the coast under stay-at-home and park closure orders will be free to hit the waves beginning Friday with the reopening of the county-run Westside Boat Launch, Spud Point Marina and neighboring Mason’s Marina, all in Bodega Bay.

The relaxation of the park closure order, authorized by Sonoma County health officer Dr. Sundari Mase, is framed as an effort to allow anglers to harvest fish as food. But it’s bound to unleash pent-up hunger for the ocean air and surf that followed the complete closure of all coastal parks, public beaches and, until now, the infrastructure that allows boaters to get out on the water.

“I guarantee you that the world’s going to be very happy to go salmon fishing,” said Ken Elie, owner of Outdoor Pro Shop in Cotati, whose online customers have been clamoring for an opportunity to take advantage of the sport salmon season, which opened May 1, alongside the groundfish season.