OSWEGO — The Oswego County Tourism Department has a special message for the thousands of anglers visiting the area for the annual salmon run: While the fish are not socially distanced, anglers should be!
The county recently installed 11 billboards at locations around Oswego County and one on I-81 north of Cicero, reminding visitors that they need to practice social distancing.
“We’ve been working closely with our partners in the DEC, the County Sheriff and other area law enforcement, and the County Health Department to prepare for the annual influx of anglers,” said Dave Turner, Director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. “We know that people are choosing to visit Oswego County regardless of COVID. The health and safety of our residents and visitors remains our priority. We want people to have a good experience while they’re here, but we also want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to encourage people to fish safely and stop the spread of the virus.”
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of both natural resources and the public.
“The Salmon River supports the largest fall runs of salmon and trout in New York and is one of the state’s most popular fishing areas,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we’re calling on anglers to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and fish responsibly. I encourage anglers to enjoy New York’s renowned fisheries, but ask that you do so safely and responsibly to protect yourself, fellow anglers, and local communities.”
At popular angling destinations, especially the Salmon River in Oswego County, angler density can become high enough to make social distancing difficult.
The Oswego County tourism team and DEC also recently placed signage at popular locations and local businesses reminding anglers to be “SMART” when fishing: Socially distance at least six feet apart; wear masks when you cannot maintain social distancing, especially in parking lots and along footpaths; avoid sharing gear when possible; respect your fellow anglers and the resource by providing space and practicing ethical angling; and rake out what you bring in or place trash in receptacles.