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With striped bass returning to the region, and some good tides on the horizon, we all need to work together to keep access to the Canal open.
By Toby Lapinski  |  May 4, 2020
If you arrive at the Canal to fish and find no open parking spaces, please move on to another lot or return at a later time. DO NOT move the cones. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center)

This week’s fishing reports for ‘Cape Cod and the Islands’ included many references to the Canal. Herring have been in the runs for several weeks, and anglers set out to the Big Ditch this week to see who could score that first large migratory fish of the year. While there was no word of anything over maybe 15 pounds landed, the writing is on the wall for a good run this year. But with concerns over CVOVID-19 and subsequent social distancing requirements in place, how does this apply to access to a coastal striped bass hot spot like the Canal?

Well, first and foremost when you arrive at any of the recreation areas along the Canal you’ll likely notice bright orange road cones that weren’t there last season. These have been placed in the parking lots in every-other parking space in an effort to reduce the vehicle capacity of the lots. In a post on Facebook by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center, an announcement was made reminding visitors that, “There is reduced parking at most Recreation Areas. Please leave traffic cones in place. If you find a parking lot is full, we ask that you try another lot or return at a less busy time.” While there was no reference that I noticed to penalties for removing these cones, I would STRONGLY advise against it! All it will take to potentially shut down any given parking lot, or worse yet the entire Canal, is one bad egg.

Also posted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center is the announcement that, “…restrooms and trash receptacles remain closed. Please use restrooms before you arrive at the Canal. And pack out all trash, including pet waste.” We can add to this message ‘fishing waste’ as well, but you should already be doing this regardless of where you fish.

So with the first set of breaking tides later this month, and hopefully a productive striped bass season on the horizon, we plead with you, the angels of the Striper Coast, to follow the short-term restrictions in place while we as a community battle the spread of COVID-19.