Oregon Closes Hunting & Fishing to Non-Oregonians to Limit Travel

   04.13.20

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced in a press release that the state is closing hunting, fishing, crabbing, and clamming to people who do not live in the state.

Officials said the decision was made to limit people traveling to Oregon to take part in outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is more information from ODFW:

“ODFW is closing recreational hunting, fishing, crabbing and clamming to non-residents due to concerns about travel to Oregon to participate in these outdoor activities. Such travel could spread the virus and put more of a burden on Oregon’s rural communities.

As of Friday 11:59 p.m., non-residents may no longer participate in these activities in Oregon. The restriction extends until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and it is deemed safe to travel into Oregon. This order does not apply to anyone living in Oregon for less than six months who has not yet established residency.”

Some states, including Washington and Alaska, have already closed hunting and fishing in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

“Rural communities are concerned about the potential impact of COVID-19 on medical and emergency services, search and rescue and their citizens. Some have asked us to close seasons to reduce travel,” said ODFW Director Curt Melcher. “We would like to keep seasons open to give locals an outlet during this difficult time, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to travel to these communities. Stick close to home and fish at your local lake, pond or river and do not go crabbing or clamming unless you live on the coast, and then only to places where access is still open.”

The bottom line is, you (probably) won’t contract COVID-19 sitting in a bass boat on a lake or hiking up in the mountains, but it’s the fact these activities often require travel and that’s something officials in these destination areas are trying to limit at this time. Another thing you have to think about is what if you had a medical emergency? A lot of medical and emergency services are pushed to their limits right now, and you could be seriously limited if you needed medical attention in a rural area.

“ODFW believes this action restricting non-residents will help local communities enforce the restrictions on out-of-state travelers violating the order, and putting local resources and residents at risk,” said Melcher. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding at this difficult time and look forward to seeing you outdoors again in the future when this passes.”

ODFW anticipates there will be opportunity for non-residents who have already purchased a 2020 license to participate in hunting, fishing or shellfish opportunities later in the year.

ODFW will refund non-resident spring bear and spring turkey tags and reinstate preference points for spring bear hunters.

Non-residents interested in applying for a fall controlled hunt may still apply online at  https://odfw.huntfishoregon.com/login and the deadline to apply remains May 15, 2020.

Oregon residents who DO choose to hunt, fish, crab or clam are reminded to:

  • Stay close to home rather than travelling far. The Governor’s Executive Order says hunting and fishing are OK, but to limit travel.
  • Practice social distancing and stay six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live in your immediate household, including when outdoors.
  • Check access where you are headed as the area may be closed. State Parks are closed, counties have closed some parks and boat ramps, beach access is closed in some areas and national forests and BLM lands have closed recreation sites.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Carry needed supplies with you to minimize non-essential stops, and bring all needed food, water and sanitation supplies with you.

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