UPDATED 20.5.20: Recfishing and COVID-19 your questions answered

Q. Is fishing a recommended activity now that some restrictions are being lifted?

A. Yes, very much so – with home isolation now well and truly lifted, it’s a great time to get you and the kids out for a break reconnecting with the great outdoors in this glorious State of ours in the fresh air enjoying all the wellbeing benefits recfishing provides. We also recommend travelling to regional fishing locations now that some regional travel restrictions have been lifted. Increased fishing activity will help boost the State and regional economy with recfishers normally spending $2.4 billion a year on fishing of which $1.8 billion is spent on fishing trips. But we need to remember that we’re not out of the woods yet and you can play your part in helping get rid of COVID-19 in WA, by continuing to adhere to social distancing rules maintaining 1.5 metres between yourselves and non-family members, practising good hygiene behaviour and avoiding gatherings of more than 20 people (for example when fishing on jetties).

Q. What regional travel restrictions remain in place? 

A. From 18 May travel is now permitted:

  1. between the South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Perth-Peel regions
  2. between the Mid West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions (excluding the biosecurity zone)
  3. within the Goldfields-Esperance region (excluding the biosecurity zone)
  4. within Kimberley local government areas (the Commonwealth’s biosecurity zone remains in place)

For a basic map of the regional boundaries remaining in place and more info see the WA Government’s website here. For a more detailed interactive map – see the Department of Transport’s travel map here.

Q. When I go fishing, how can I make sure there is less risk of me catching and/or spreading COVID-19?

A. Social distancing rules for outdoors state that you must maintain 1.5m of space (4m²) between yourself and another person during non-essential activities and non-essential gatherings are limited to 20 people. The 1.5m rule applies to boat and land-based fishing. It does not apply to members of the same household. If boating with anyone that you do not reside with, ensure you maintain social distancing (at least 1.5 metres apart). Other things we strongly advise you do to minimise risk of infection/spreading infection include:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Don’t make unnecessary physical contact with others. Avoid physical greetings, such as handshakes, hugs and kisses.
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser.
  • Do not congregate at land-based fishing locations, instead look for more secluded alternatives.
  • Stay away from popular man-made fishing structures such as jetties.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a flexed elbow or a tissue; if you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately and appropriately.
  • Download the COVIDSafe app.

Click here for more advice about social distancing and good hygience practices.

Q. Is there any specific advice about boating?

A. Click here for  WA Department of Transport’s recreational boating advice.

Q. What is Recfishwest doing during the COVID-19 crisis?

A. Recfishing will be more important that ever after this crisis is over for people’s mental health and wellbeing and to help boost the State and regional economies – recfishers spend $2.4 billion a year on fishing – much of which is spent in the regions. During the crisis we will be working hard to progress projects that will make recfishing better in line with our stated purpose, “To ensure great fishing experiences for all in the WA community forever”. The more we can progress initiatives to remove barriers to fishing, enhance current fishing opportunities and create new fishing options working closely with Government, the more recfishing can play a vital role in the recovery of this great State of ours.

Q. What can we do to support our local tackle store and the charter industry?

A. The local WA tackle industry has been doing it tough during COVID-19. We encourage everyone to stock up on gear from your local tackle supplier to support the local tackle industry and/or book a trip with your local charter. Click here to find out how you can support WA’s recfishing industry.