By David Aaro
Published March 26, 2020
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Montana may be the third-lowest state in terms of population density in the U.S., but it hasn't stopped its Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department from coming up with unique ways to recommend social distancing to its residents amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The department has converted the recommended six-feet social distancing rule -- intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 -- into social "fishtancing" -- expressing the gap in terms of the lengths of several varieties of fish.
For example, the recommended gap equals “4 trout,” “2 shovelnose sturgeon,” “1 paddlefish” or “1 fishing rod” measurements, according to a Twitter post by the government agency.
Users on Twitter shared their amusement with the unique fish guidelines during a worrisome time for most people in the U.S.
"Had no idea that a paddlefish was that big - thanks for the chart - it's fascinating," one user wrote.
"I lived along Rattlesnake Creek during graduate school in Missoula. Would've been more like 8 trout," another replied.
Montana is known for its agriculture, scenery, great outdoors and areas like Glacier National Park.
Although parks in the state remain open, Montana State Parks visitor centers and offices are closed, in keeping up with COVID-19 guidelines.
Schools in the state are also closed.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency March 12. He activated a Coronavirus Task Force on March 3 to help combat the spread before cases were announced in the state.
Montana has recorded 65 cases of the virus, although no deaths have been reported so far.