NCWRC urges compliance with COVID-19 restrictions

The NCWRC is urging outdoorsmen to comply with CDC guidelines concerning COVID-19.

Do Your Part – Comply With COVID-19 Restrictions

Turkey season starts this month. And fishing is on fire across the state. But many outdoorsmen are confused about whether either activity is allowed. That’s because the statewide COVID-19 stay-at-home order is a bit confusing. But the NCWRC seeks to clarify the question of what outdoor activities are allowed.

In short, hunting and fishing are both still perfectly legal. And neither adds to the risk of spreading or catching COVID-19. That is, as long as we all follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

South Carolina recently closed all public boat landings and beaches because of compliance issues. North Carolina wants to avoid doing that. But we must all follow the rules. Otherwise, a few will spoil it all for the rest of us.

Addressing the ongoing and unfolding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic requires unprecedented measures to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19. Each and every one of us must all work together to do our part to limit person-to-person contact in our workplaces and in our communities.

Last Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121 (EO121), which instituted a stay at home order and strategic directions for a statewide unified response to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in our state. Under EO121, all North Carolinians are directed to stay at home, except as authorized in the Order. Outdoor activities are allowed under EO121. However, individuals MUST, with the full force and effect of law, comply with the following Social Distancing Requirements and Mass Gatherings requirements:

Individuals using shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence MUST, at all times and as much as reasonably possible, maintain social (physical) distancing of AT LEAST six (6) feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members.

Many folks have failed to comply so far

Further, EO121 prohibits any events that bring together more than ten (10) persons into a single space at the same time.

Please note that local Emergency Orders may require more stringent standards. Prior to engaging in outdoor activities, check local government Emergency Orders for specific requirements.

Hunting, Fishing, Boating and many other wildlife-associated activities can be accomplished in compliance with those requirements. However, based on field observation from law enforcement and other agency professionals over the past week, many people are disregarding the requirements. Those actions raise the clear and present danger of increased community spread of COVID-19.

This is a time for each of us to work together to be part of the solution and not the problem. We are asking each of you to do your part when using any of our access areas. In order to keep these doorways to North Carolina’s public trust resources open, we are relying on the compliance of every person.

Failure to comply WILL LEAD to CLOSURES of boating and fishing access areas.

Gordon Myers
Executive Director
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

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