SALEM — Nonresidents may fish and hunt in Oregon again beginning Tuesday, May 5. Recreational clamming and crabbing will remain closed to nonresidents until further notice.
ODFW is lifting the nonresident restrictions in line with some loosening of restrictions on outdoor recreation in the state and region. Washington state will also reopen to most fishing on May 5.
Oregon and Washington will reopen salmon and steelhead fishing on the Columbia River next week. The states held a Joint State Hearing on Friday at 2 p.m. to set the reopener.
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 nonresidents 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.
“We want to thank nonresidents for their understanding of the temporary closure,” said ODFW Director Curt Melcher. “We are also announcing a special refund policy for nonresidents 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.” (More info below)
All hunters and anglers are reminded to:
• Check for access before you go. Fishing is open but the boat ramp or park where you want to go might be closed. ODFW does not control access to land or facilities it doesn’t manage, so check with the land manager or facility owner where you want to go about what’s open.
• Stick close to home. Don’t travel far to hunt or fish. Most places are closed to overnight camping/lodging.
• Be prepared. Restrooms and other facilities may be more limited. Bring your own soap, water, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, food, etc. Buy your license online before you go.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Avoid crowds. Go someplace else if your destination looks crowded.
• Practice social distancing. Keep 6 feet between you and anyone who doesn’t live in your immediate household.
• Wash your hands often. Keep up on personal hygiene and bring your own water, soap, and hand sanitizer with you.
• Pack out what you pack in. Take any garbage with you, including disposable gloves and masks.
Special nonresident refund policy
For anglers: Nonresidents 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.
For hunters: Nonresidents who purchased a hunting license (annual or nonresident 3-day for gamebirds) and/or tag for spring turkey will be eligible to receive a refund for their hunting license and/or tag, regardless of when it was purchased, as long as they have not hunted at all. Request a refund at https://odfw.wufoo.com/forms/nonresident-refund-request-a-covid19-period/.
The April 6-15 time frame 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 nonresident sales after this announcement, but many of these customers may not have had a chance to use their fishing license before Oregon closed to nonresidents on April 11.
Nonresidents can also continue to apply for fall controlled hunts. The deadline to apply for all fall controlled hunts remains May 15 for both residents and nonresidents.
As already announced, tag refund and preference point reinstatement is also available to nonresidents and residents who purchased a spring bear tag and were unable to hunt in 2020 due to the travel restrictions. May 1 at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline for spring bear hunters to either purchase their tag or complete a request form at https://myodfw.com/articles/2020-spring-bear-tag-sale-deadline-refund-process.