OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced April 7 that recreational fishing, shellfish harvesting and spring turkey and bear hunting seasons will be delayed in an effort to control the spread of covid-19.

In the case of the coastal razor clam season, the announcement will mean the end of the 2019-2020 season, which would otherwise have concluded at the end of April to avoid disturbing nesting snowy plovers. New licenses would have been required for digging after March 31, so the decision avoids public backlash over buying licenses for a closed season.

While WDFW expects most recreation activities to remain closed through the stay home order, the department will reevaluate specific hunting, fishing, shellfish harvesting, public land, and boat ramp closures as new information becomes available from public health officials.

WDFW also joined with the state Department of Natural Resources and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission in extending the closure of state lands to the public through May 4.

This extension applies to all camping on state lands, boat launches and water access sites, wildlife areas, and day-use recreation areas.

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