The Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted many aspects of American life and boating is no exception. While getting out on the water may seem like the perfect way to practice “social distancing”, restrictions in certain areas have made this difficult or impossible. For example, in Michigan boating and fishing was prohibited for a while – even for those with a home on the water. Several other states have imposed restrictions as well.

As a result of these actions, many boaters have been left wondering where can I go boating in my area? To find which states currently have restrictions in place, see the public water access guide from Discover Boating.

Boating and Fishing Status by State

For more detailed information for your state, check out the interactive map below from Take Me Fishing™.  Click on a state to find out everything you need to know about the latest updates, changes, closures, and more for fishing and boating related activities.

Note that the map is currently set to display boating restrictions by state.  To access fishing restrictions, simply click on the link below the map (in the blue band). The map will appear exactly the same except the text below it will now read “Select your State to get specific information about the changes to Fishing in your area.” In many cases, the state agency or resources will be the same.

The ongoing pandemic has not deterred people’s interest in boating or fishing to any great degree. In fact, over a quarter of boaters in our recent survey plan to go boating even more this season because of the current crisis (provided that they are permitted to do so). I fall into this category as well since I am fortunate to live on the water and my state (Texas) has not imposed the kind of restrictions that have been enacted in places like Michigan.

It is my hope, like everyone else’s, that this nightmare will soon be over and boaters/anglers across the country will be able to enjoy our beautiful waterways in full once again. Until that time, be sure to check the above map before heading to the water to avoid a potentially disappointing trip. And, if you happen to know of any other local rules or restrictions not noted in the above, please be sure to share them in the comments section below.

Jerry Mona - BoaterInput

About the author

Jerry Mona is a long-time boating industry insider, research expert and avid boater and angler. He began his research career with the Coca-Cola Company, Foods Division, where he learned research from some of the best in the business. In 1991, he left Coca Cola Foods to follow his passion for the water to head up the research function at Mercury Marine. After climbing the ranks within Mercury and later at the parent company, Brunswick, Jerry left Corporate America in 2000 to launch his own company – Left Brain Marketing, Inc., a research firm specializing in the boating industry and outdoor recreation.

Over the past 20+ years, he has helped leading organizations such as Mercury, Brunswick, White River Marine Group (Tracker, Sun Tracker, Nitro, Mako, Regency, Tahoe), Polaris (Bennington, Hurricane), the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Discover Boating, the Marine Retailers Association of America, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation ( and others to better understand the needs and wants of boaters like you. Widely recognized as the leading research expert with boaters, Jerry has conducted hundreds of studies and has received responses from over 350,000 boater participants since launching his firm.

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