A Plea to Upper Delaware River Anglers: Please Stay Home Until It’s Declared Safe to Go Back in the Water

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.

Adrian LaSorte Guide Services
Border Water Outfitters
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
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

For the River,
Jeff Skelding, Executive Director
skelding@fudr.org 410-245-8021

Spread the word. Share this post!

About the Author