RICHLAND, Wash. - Hundreds of fishers crowded Columbia Park Marina with signs and fishing poles in protest of the state of Washington's fishing restrictions due to the Coronavirus.
On March 25th the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife banned people from fishing. They said they had reports of crowded boat ramps and busy fishing on some rivers which runs counter to the governor's direction to stay home and practice social distancing. Three weeks later many anglers across the Tri-Cities came out to voice their displeasure with that decision.
"Let Us Fish is simply trying to send the message to WDFW that fishing is a positive social distancing activity and it's healthy, it's good for you," said Ben Hanes, the Let Us Fish Organizer.
The protest ran from 9a.m. to 2 p.m. and it featured recreational fishers as well as people who use fishing for business. Like Flatout Fishing guide Gerardo Reyes who finds his peace from sitting on the water and casting his rod.
"You look for opportunity to entertain your life like fishing, " said Reyes "It's cheap you go out get a dollar or two get some worms some weights get a can even."
Others have concerns that the continued ban won't just affect their passion but also their business.
"I've got $3000 spent already on permits that I have to have insurance, my guides license, boat fees and my equipment and I haven't had a customer yet because I can't take anybody out, " said John McDonald of Lone Wolf Guide Service.