Rec zones set to reopen (*some restrictions apply)

Poet and river visionary Lewis McAdams would have been proud to see the next generation of river stewardship unfold. (Jim Burns)

Given the state of everything, I didn’t think that the rec zones, in Elysian Park and the Sepulveda Basin, would open, but I was happily wrong. It’s become a tradition since 2013 to have actual legal fishing (don’t forget your license), bird watching, jail-breaking the pooch, or just hanging out in these two designated areas, from Memorial Day until Sept. 30. This year, because of the pandemic, watch for posted public health guidelines. Know that kayaking is not in the cards this year.

We’ll miss two figures along the water this year, Friends of the Los Angeles River co-founder Lewis MacAdams, and river

Lewis MacAdams by his beloved Los Angeles River.

champion extraordinaire, passed away just over a month ago. Tip your hat to his statue what was Marsh Park and is now named after him. Without Lewis, none of us would be enjoying the water the way we now can.

And we won’t see the friendly smile of veteran L.A. Park Ranger Capt. Alberto Torres, who spent 40 years on the job, in various positions. Alberto defined public service for me, with his kindly manner and sense of humor.

If you love fishing, there is no better way than to celebrate easing the restrictions of the last two months, than to hang out on the banks of our very own river. Maybe I can even catch a carp, if I can remember how to start my car to get there.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

‘Fishmas’ fugetaboutit until June 1

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The Browns can be sweet in The Gorge, but you’ll work to get down there — and wait June 1. (Jim Burns)

As requested by county officials, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham delayed the start of the trout opener in Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties. The director made this decision in consultation with California Fish and Game Commission President Eric Sklar.

The trout season was scheduled to open in these three counties this Saturday, April 25. The delay to the opener in these counties expires June 1.

 

Meanwhile, more fishing for shut-ins, this time at Brooks Falls – Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Cal’s fishing season cancelled? Nope, just ‘delayed a bit’

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Washington State has closed fishing until May 4 on more than 7 million acres of public land; Oregon put the kibosh on recreational hunting, fishing, crabbing and clamming to non-residents, due to concerns about travel to Oregon to participate in these outdoor activities; for now, there’s no fishing, diving or boating in Florida’s Keys; meanwhile, free-wheelin’ Texas has declared fishing an essential activity; but what about California, home to more than 1 million resident fishing licenses?

Because of pandemonium during the call this week, the California Fish and Game Commission abruptly canceled a teleconference Thursday morning of more than 500 participants amid cries of “make fishing great again!” and “fascists!” before it could consider authorizing a limited ban on sportfishing in some areas, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The statewide heat got so hot that fishing was one of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s points during his Thursday briefing,

“I’m passionate about fishing myself and I’m getting inundated by people that are concerned that we’ve canceled the fishing season,” the governor said at his daily COVID-19 briefing. “That is not the case, we are not canceling the fishing season in California.”

He added the state wants “to delay, not deny, the season,” according to KTLA.

Trout fishing season begins the last Saturday in April and runs through Nov. 15 every year. Opening Day, aka “Fishmas,” is Saturday, April 25, in Mono County.

As California more likely proposes a county by county system,  it could be a model of what to expect as the state goes back to work.  This is pure conjecture on my part, of course, but eventually we will have to find a way to safely ease our “shelter in place” restrictions.

When the meeting is rescheduled it will be posted on the commission’s website.

See you on the river (eventually), Jim Burns