Non-residents may fish and hunt in Oregon again as of Tuesday, May 5. Recreational clamming and crabbing remain closed to non-residents until further notice.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is lifting the non-resident restrictions in line with some loosening of restrictions on outdoor recreation in the state and region. Washington state also reopened to most fishing on May 5.
Due to concerns about increased travel to the coast during the summer months, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, crabbing and clamming will remain closed to non-residents for now. Oregon residents who do not live on the coast should also not travel there to crab or clam when the “Stay Home, Save Lives” restrictions against travel are in effect. Beach access may also be closed.
Oregon and Washington held a joint state hearing on Friday, May 1, to set a reopening date for salmon and steelhead fishing on the Columbia River. The river has been closed to recreational salmon and steelhead fishing since March 26 in response to efforts by the states to slow the spread of Covid-19 and flatten the curve. This fishing will reopen for four days this month: May 5, 7, 9 and 13. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids — Chinook or steelhead — of which no more than one may be a Chinook. Shad may also be retained.
“We want to thank non-residents for their understanding of the temporary closure,” ODFW Director Curt Melcher said. “We are also announcing a special refund policy for non-residents who purchased fishing license documents between April 6-15, which is about the time when Washington announced their extended closure of all hunting and fishing.”
Non-residents who purchased fishing licensing documents — such as a daily, multi-day or annual fishing or shellfish license, combined angling tag and associated products — between April 6-15 may request a refund for all of these fishing products provided they did not keep any fish or shellfish.
The April 6-15 timeframe for providing fishing license refunds is based on the state of Washington’s April 6 decision to extend its closure of fishing in that state. ODFW saw an increase in non-resident sales after this announcement, but many of these customers may not have had a chance to use their fishing license before Oregon closed to non-residents on April 11.
Refunds can be requested online at https://odfw.wufoo.com/forms/nonresident-refund-request-a-covid19-period.