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Paddling while following COVID 19 social distancing guidelines

To minimize the chances of you contracting COVID-19 or infecting others it is important to follow social distancing guidelines.

Do not post pick-up paddles on the ConnYak bulletin board.

If you decide to paddle on your own here are some guidelines that you can follow. These guidelines are compatible with current stay-at-home orders. Make yourself aware of any changes to future orders. More state parks are being closed by CT DEEP because of people not following social distancing guidelines.

Here are things that you should consider if you chose to paddle.

  • Follow the local government guidelines.

  • Limit the number of persons on the paddle. While not a hard and fast rule, consider 5 paddlers as the maximum. Paddling within a family circle or a close group of friends is advised.

  • Select launch sites and times that are most likely to be void of other people.

  • Be self-sufficient. Be able to handle your own kayak and gear at the launch site.

  • Remain at least 6 feet away from other paddlers.

  • Do not share anything with other paddlers. Bring and eat your own snacks.

  • If practical, plan the paddle so that you launch, paddle and return to the launch.

  • If the paddle will include a landing, choose a place where you will be less likely to encounter other people.

  • Know your limitations (skills and abilities) and assess overall safety of the group prior to launching. Plan a paddle that is within the group ability. Minimize the chances of requiring outside assistance or rescues.

  • Stay within about 50 miles of your home so that you can avoid stopping for gas, snacks, restroom breaks, etc., none of which allow for social distancing -- running essential errands in your neighborhood is one thing -- errands that result from traveling to a paddle are not essential.

  • Do not carpool with friends or family who are not members of your household.

  • Avoid areas that have become crowded, even if the area is officially open. If the parking lot is crowded, there are already too many people there. Turn around and find another location or go home.