While hunting and fishing seasons remain open, travel to get to those opportunities is strongly discouraged and violates the Governor’s Stay Home, Save Lives order. Hunting and fishing seasons remain open as adopted in permanent and in-season regulations.
DFW offices remain closed to public access (walk-in visitors). All fish cleaning stations owned or managed by DFW are closed to help meet the social distancing protocols and reduce the spread of the virus from surfaces that are not continually sanitized.
All family fishing events and outdoor skills workshops have been cancelled. Big game tag auctions rescheduled and now bid-by-phone due to COVID-19 Bear and cougar hunters: Successful cougar and bear hunters are temporarily not required to check in their animal at an DFW office, though they do still need to report basic information about their harvest within 10 days.
Hunters need to call the office closest to their residence and report their name, DFW ID number, date of harvest, location of harvest (wildlife management unit), sex of animal and confirmation number for electronic tags. Or, they can email all the above information to ODFW.WildlifeInfo@state.or.us Roadkill permits: Rules requiring that people check in roadkill parts within 5 business days have also been waived except heads with antlers from male deer and male elk.
On March 23, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order urging people to stay at home to save lives. DFW is reviewing the Governor’s Executive Order to determine how it will impact fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing.
The Executive Order states that “Individuals are directed to minimize travel, other than essential travel...” It also states that individuals should “maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from any person who is not a member of their immediate household.” If you do go hunting and fishing, you need to maintain social distance of at least six feet from other people who don’t live in your household, including during travel to and from your destination.
Hunters and anglers should also minimize travelling to hunt and fish and find a destination close to home. Coastal communities, the Columbia River Gorge and other popular travel destinations were inundated with visitors the weekend of March 21-22, which led in part to Governor Brown’s Executive Order.
For these customers, it may be best to call ahead to inquire if this service is still available during the governor’s executive order on social distancing and non-essential travel. Effective Monday, March 23, DFW offices are closed to walk-in customers as part of the statewide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
DFW does not have the latitude to suspend licensing requirement for harvest of game animals, fish and shellfish. In addition, the significant DFW funding that comes from federal grants is tied to the number of paid (not free) hunting and fishing licenses.
Will you extend spring bear season if there is a shelter in place order? Hunters who drew a spring bear tag have extra time to decide if they will hunt this year.
Spring bear hunters who choose not to go hunting due to COVID-19 restrictions have some options for their controlled hunt tag, including reinstatement of their preference points and a refund of the cost of their tag if already purchased. However, we have taken down the trout stocking schedule to reduce concentration of anglers at release sites.
DFW does not control boat ramps or monitor which ones are open or closed. OSB advises users to contact the owners of the ramps to find out whether they are open or closed.
Youth ages 12-17 can purchase a license for $10 which covers many fishing and hunting opportunities. That means kids who have completed the classroom portion online or by workbook can hunt the fall 2020 season even if they haven't taken the field day.
We thought we’d break down some of the best places to go and when so you can make the most out of your fishing trip, no matter what time of year you go. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date.
This river enters the ocean at Seaside, where a healthy dose of hatchery fish arrive in early winter, with wild ones that follow later in the season. This high-country lake, just east of Roseburg, is an ideal destination for fat rainbow trout.
Here you can find winter steel head and coho salmon in the early fall. One of the state's best sources of trout, both wild and stocked, as well as Chinook salmon during the spring and summer steel head.
This is a popular fishery on the lower Willamette River for springtime Chinook salmon. This river, which enters the ocean at Pacific City, is a nice source for Chinook salmon during the spring and fall seasons and steel head during winter and summer.
Serena Maria Daniels is an award-winning freelance journalist in Detroit, by way of Chicago, by way of the West Coast. Serena enjoys learning about language and culture and taking road trips with her beagle Ralph.