OCONTO CO., Wis. (WFRV) – Boat landings across Oconto are re-opening today.
It’s part of a revision of the original Oconto County Health Officer Order from April 8. News came out this Wednesday that city-owned boat landings would be open once more on Friday. As a result, Fishermen are rejoicing at the fact they can cruise the waters once more.
“As a health department, we have to weigh out what the risks are to keep people safe and healthy versus doing what we’d like to do,” says Debra Konitzer, the Oconto County Health Officer. “We want to give people that outlet- to be able to get out and do what they want to do. It’s a great leisure activity and we had to take it away for a short bit but, again, we opened it as soon as it was appropriate.”
The order states that boat landing users are expected to maintain social distancing guidelines of keeping six feet between themselves and others. Disobeying such guidelines could have some consequences.
“They need to have their facilities closed so that there aren’t people gathering around those,” said Konitzer. “They are your typical restrooms, the fishing scaling area (as well). Keep that six feet apart and not to get into groups.”
“I have this week off so I planned on doing some fishing,” says Jim Kleist, from Green Bay. “I heard they opened up the launches up here so I thought I’d come up and give it a try.”
Kleist took the 40 minute drive up from Green Bay so he could get out on the water. For him, being out on his boat means more than just catching a few walleye.
“This is an outlet for my stress and I encourage everybody, whether it’s fishing or biking or whatever you want to do, to get out,” said Kleist. “It’s starting to get nice out with spring and keep your heads up.”
And whether you spend that time on land or sea, the message remains the same.
“Hang tight and we’ll get through this,” says Kleist.
Meanwhile, Oconto County public and private campgrounds will remain closed with the exception of seasonal camp sites. That order remains in effect until Tuesday, May 26.