Fishing Access, Counts Subject to Government Shutdown
As a consequence of Congress’s budget stalemate, fishing is being affected by the government shutdown this week. Along with museums and the National Zoo, national parks are closed, too. On the road to access Grand Canyon National Park, a sign informs visitors: “Glen Canyon N. R.A. Closed Due to Lack of Appropriations. Sorry for the Inconvenience.” A barricade stops visitors from their fishing trips down the Colorado River, and several news outlets have reported many are waiting out the shutdown by camping near the Lee’s Ferry access point. Many of those visitors may simply shrug it off, but some may not, especially when permits to take trips down the river run in the hundreds of dollars.
Not all public access is blocked
Some forest roads are accessible for boating and hiking, and the same is true for millions of acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. But visitors are being cautioned to take care if they travel to public forest lands and know beforehand if access is allowed, at least while the cogs of Washington slowly turn.
In the midst of salmon fishing season in Oregon and Washington, the shutdown is affecting the turnaround time of fish counts. The usual daily reports were issued late this week, after the shutdown began on Tuesday. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife posted the counts late on a new website with this phrase in the domain name: …/Government_Shutdown_Fish_Counts/. There’s a first for everything.
The editor of Northwest Sportsman complained about the delay, stating online: “Dearest President & Congress: The shutdown has gone on long enough, but let’s get the government going again — two days without Columbia fish counts is killing me!” We couldn’t agree more.