Here at Trout Guides and Lodges the Covid19 implications have, naturally, been pretty major for all of our members and for the Association. Like everybody else, we are all trying to make the best of a bad situation. And, of course, we realise that not only are our businesses impacted but so too are the holiday and fishing plans of our wonderful clients.
In case people are not fully aware of the situation in Tasmania, this is how it is today (6 April), but, of course, not how it might be tomorrow!
- Rigorous social distancing rules apply
- Visitors are unable to enter Tasmania (subject to special exemptions)
- Any arrival is immediately placed formally into isolation for 14 days – escorted to designated accommodation facilities (no home isolation allowed)
- No tourist accommodation facilities are open – hotels, AirBNB, Bed and Breakfast, Caravan parks, camping grounds are all closed
- Travel is limited to “essential” travel – food supplies, medical, work, etc
- All National Parks and associated lakes, waterways and facilities are closed
- The World Heritage Area / 19 Lagoons / Western Lakes are closed
- All lakes managed by the Hydro are closed – this accounts for all of the lakes in the Central Highlands and in the Bronte chain.
Clearly these arrangements mean the end of guiding for the time being. These rules have also almost completely shut down recreational angling in Tasmania. The one exception we do have is that we can fish on waters that are within the municipality that we live in. So, for example, people who live in Hobart can fish in the Derwent. A few lucky people out there are lucky enough to have access to streams and rivers nearby, but that’s a luxury few of us face.
So it’s lots of fly tying, gear servicing and “virtual fishing” through YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and the like. These, obviously, will also keep fishers connected to each other through these challenging times.
As to the future – well, who knows. In Tasmania everything that been put in place for a finite period of time, but with the very high likelihood that expiration dates will be extended.
As an Association we will regroup at a time when we can and will plan for next steps in efforts to resurrect our industry from this “hibernation”. It is way too soon to say when this might be. However, because we are all not only passionate tourism ambassadors but most of us are also passionate fishers, every effort will be made to get our services back on line as soon as possible.
In the meantime we hope that everybody in our worldwide family stays as safe as possible through this terrible crisis. Our collective love of the outdoors needs feeding and we at TGALT look forward to again being able to be part of your future plans to visit Tasmania and to fish in our wonderful waters.
Stay safe and stay positive.