Find all ODFW closures and cancellations, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about fishing, recreating outdoors, and visiting ODFW hatcheries and wildlife areas.
Find about the COVID -19, Oregon’s response and how to stay safe.
Updated June 1, 2020
While most seasons remain open for Oregon residents, many locations to fish, hunt, crab and clam are closed to public access due to COVID-19 including boat ramps, parking lots and restrooms. Please check with the land manager where you are headed for the latest information on access restrictions.
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. Please fish or hunt close to home if you do go.
You’re probably getting information related to hunting, fishing, ODFW events, and recreating on ODFW properties from a lot of different sources. Some are well-informed, others are not. Here are the correct answers to some of the questions we’ve been asked. We’ll be updating this list periodically.
On March 23, Governor Brown issued an urging people to stay at home to save lives. See the section on Outdoor Recreation and Travel below.
The Executive Order does not close hunting and fishing. Fishing and hunting seasons remain open. ODFW 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 members 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.
Also, please check with the land manager where you are headed to confirm the area is open. Closures related to COVID-19 are extremely fluid. Some counties are closing parks and boat ramps. is closing all of its parks as of March 23, 2020.
Land manager websites:
Or check website of county or city for additional information about access.
Note the has stated it is OK to hunt, fish and view wildlife provided everyone is healthy before you go (e.g. people who are sick should stay home) and if everyone practices social distancing with friends. See the site for the most current information and recommendations regarding COVID-19.
Visit MyODFW.com to buy your licenses and apply for controlled hunts. Click the green button at the top and login or look up your account. If you have had a hunting or fishing license in the last 4 years, please Do not create a new account. It causes big problems to open a second account. When in doubt, try to “Verify/Look up” your account on the licensing page first, using the ODFW ID/Hunter Angler ID# on your previous licenses or tags.
In addition, some retail license agents are still selling hunting and fishing licenses over the counter. 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.
If you need assistance, call our statewide licensing department at (503) 947-6101 or email email@example.com
Effective Monday, March 23, ODFW offices are closed to walk-in customers as part of the statewide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, ODFW staff remain available by phone and email to assist customers with licensing and other questions. See ODFW contacts online at https:/myodfw.com/contact-us for assistance.
ODFW does not have the latitude to suspend licensing requirement for harvest of game animals, fish and shellfish. The requirements to be adequately licensed and the costs of licenses, tags, permits, and endorsements are set in statute.
The revenue from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses provides essential funding for managing and conserving Oregon’s fish and wildlife and providing fishing and hunting opportunities. In addition, the significant ODFW funding that comes from federal grants is tied to the number of paid (not free) hunting and fishing licenses.
Removing the requirement for a license could also lead to over-fishing or over-hunting that harms fish and wildlife populations over the long-term. ODFW regulations take into account hunting and fishing pressure, and removing license requirements would increase that pressure.
Hunters who drew a spring bear tag have extra time to decide if they will hunt this year. ODFW has extended the tag sale deadline until Friday, May 1 so hunters have more time to consider their options, especially those who would have to travel to hunt, as travel is limited to essential needs at this time.
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. SportsPac holders will be able to trade out their spring bear tag for a fall bear tag. Contact ODFW licensing to discuss one of these options at or (503) 947-6101.
Shed hunting has not been closed but follow all guidance about getting outdoors at this time. More information available
ODFW manages hunting and fishing seasons and access to ODFW wildlife areas. The department does not manage access to most public land (such as national forests, state parks or state forests). Please check with the land manager to determine if camping is allowed.
Some ODFW wildlife areas reopened to camping on May 20, they include
Bridge Creek Wildlife Area, Umatilla and Morrow counties
Elkhorn Wildlife Area, Baker and Union counties
Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area, Wasco County
Lostine Wildlife Area, Wallowa County
Philip W Schneider Wildlife Area, Grant County
Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area, Crook County
Summer Lake Wildlife Area, Lake County
White River Wildlife Area, Wasco County
Wenaha Wildlife Area, Wallowa County.
All other ODFW wildlife areas remain closed to camping.
All Oregon State Parks remain closed to camping until further notice.
Land manager websites:
While ODFW has not closed fishing, some land managers have closed access to boat ramps or to waterbodies. Some counties or cities are closing parks and other areas. Please check with the land manager where you want to go about their current access restrictions.
Yes. The department is still stocking ponds and lakes with trout. However, we have taken down the trout stocking schedule to reduce concentration of anglers at release sites.
Oregonians can fish with a guide or on charter boat IF they can maintain the recommended 6-foot social distancing while on the boat. For more information, visit the Oregon Marine Board Outfitter Guide page:
Or check website of county or city for additional information about access.
ODFW does not control boat ramps or monitor which ones are open or closed. However, the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) maintains an interactive map of boat ramps that shows the location of Oregon boat ramps and who owns them. OSMB advises users to contact the owners of the ramps to find out whether they are open or closed.
Kids 11 and younger always fish for free in Oregon. Youth ages 12-17 can purchase a license for $10 which covers many fishing and hunting opportunities. More are available in Oregon, including youth only fishing ponds. So, while schools are out, it might be a good time to take them fishing.
While a field day is typically required to complete hunter ed certification, ODFW is suspending that requirement beginning Aug. 1. 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. They do need to be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age on their hunt.
Check out the online hunter education courses.
NOTE: When you send in your workbook, please be sure to include on the inside front cover the student's name, mailing address, phone number and parent's mailing address so we can mail you your certificate. Please allow 3-4 weeks for your certificate to arrive from ODFW.
This exception is only for the 2020 hunting season. Kids will need to complete the field day portion to receive their hunter education certification so they can hunt next year and in the future.
All in-person hunter education field days and classes are cancelled through at least May 31, but Hunter Education staff and volunteers expect to schedule events as restrictions are lifted.
Oregon has many youth-only big game hunting opportunities and applications are due May 15 along with other controlled hunts. Youth can apply for controlled hunts without the Hunter Ed certification but need to carry proof of completion with them while hunting. This year, proof of completion of the online course or workbook will be sufficient.
Another option is the Mentored Youth Hunter Program which provides the opportunity for youth age 9-15 to experience hunting without completing a hunter education course. There are requirements to participate, including they must be accompanied by a licensed adult.
There are many rumors and a lot of speculation about the impact of COVID-19 on fishing, hunting, shellfish, wildlife viewing and access to areas. ODFW recommends that people get information regarding hunting, fishing, shellfish and wildlife from official sources, including, , , and ODFW .