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COVID-19

Sports >  Outdoors

WDFW reduces office staffing, IDFG cancels events

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources, according to the agency's webpage. (WDFW / WDFW)
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources, according to the agency's webpage. (WDFW / WDFW)

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reduced office staffing, Monday.

“We’re encouraging a lot of people to work at home,” WDFW spokeswoman Staci Lehman said. “The building is not as staffed as it normally is.”

The reduction is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The regional office in the Spokane Valley will not be open to the public, so Lehman asked that people call the office instead. For anyone who needs to pick up or drop off documents or has other business, there will be a sign on the office door with a number to call. Someone will meet visitors at the door, Lehman said.

“It’s out of an abundance of caution, just like everyone else is doing,” she said.

Last week, WDFW announced it will not hold in-person public meetings starting Monday. Instead, all public meetings will be streamed online or over the phone. The public meeting cancellation will last through the first week of April.

On Tuesday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game canceled events due to COVID-19 virus and sent out a press release, which is copied in full below.

In response to updated guidance from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for public events, Idaho Fish and Game has canceled several events and limited access to facilities, such as hatcheries. Cancelations are limited to specific events and hunting and fishing seasons are unaffected.

“I am proud of our extensive public outreach, but today is the time to use proactive caution based on the guidance of our public health officials and the Governor’s Office,” F&G Director Ed Schriever said.

Starting immediately, Fish and Game is taking the following measures until further notice:

    Canceling public access to hatcheries

    Canceling Hunter Education classes and offering online Hunter Education certification with the field day requirement waived

    Canceling Take Me Fishing Trailer events, and the fishing rod loaner program

    Canceling any meetings at Fish and Game offices that include the public, such as sporting groups, or other scheduled meetings or events

    Closing the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center in Boise to the public for educational events and tours. Public access to the Nature Center building for license buying will continue, and the outside grounds at the center will remain open to the public.

    Canceling the annual Fish and Game fur auction

Fish and Game’s primary shooting ranges, Black’s Creek and Farragut, will remain open, and staff will be implementing additional sanitation measures.

Questions about these cancellations or other Fish and Game functions should be directed to Fish and Game regional offices.

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