Photo of hunter with a giant bull elk taken in the Sixes unit

What's new for 2021

Updates to fishing and hunting regulations
December 1, 2020

A summary of the major changes to the 2021 Big Game Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations, and electronic licensing system. The new regulations are now available online, and printed copies are available at many license sale agents.

Updates to 2021 Big Game Hunting Regulations

  • All archery deer hunting in eastern Oregon is by controlled hunt. See pages 34-35 of the 2021 Big Game Hunting Regulations for the controlled archery deer hunts.
  • Eastern Oregon controlled archery deer tags are not valid in the western Oregon general archery season.
  • West Cascade Elk general season has been moved to the second week of November.
  • One continuous season for General Any Legal Weapon Western Oregon buck deer tag in the Coast and Cascade units.
  • Bag limit for the Desolation Unit during the general archery elk season is now one bull elk.
  • New California bighorn sheep ewe hunts in each of the John Day River and Deschutes River hunt areas. (Ewe hunts are not once-in-a-lifetime hunts, so you can still draw a ram hunt after drawing the ewe hunt. Sheep hunts are not based on preference points so you won’t lose points by drawing the ewe hunt.)
  • Other new hunts, hunt name changes, and a few hunt number changes including a NEW Santiam Unit Late Traditional Bow controlled hunt.  

Updates to 2021 Sport Fishing Regulations

  • Clarification of fishing areas on the McKenzie River.
  • New regulations to protect redband trout in the Southeast Zone including:
    • Catch-and-release only and use of artificial flies and lures in Agency Lake and the Link River.
    • Limit of one rainbow trout over 15 inches per day in Sprague River.
    • Single point hooks only in all sections of the Williamson River.
  • Closure of the Gilbert River to sturgeon harvest for the entire year. Only artificial flies and lures allowed April 16-May 15.
  • No decision has been made yet on whether or not the two-rod validation will be allowed in the Willamette River spring Chinook fishery in 2021. Any updates will be announced by news release and on the Willamette Zone regulations update page.

Licensing system changes

  • Paper taggers can no longer validate tags on the MyODFW app: The latest version of the app to be released in early December 2020 will no longer allow paper taggers to tag on the app. This change is to reduce confusion because paper taggers are required to use their printed tag. Paper taggers can still use the MyODFW app to see all their licenses and tags. Switch to electronic tagging anytime by logging in and changing your setting under Your Account / Your Profile. 
  • Resizing tags: Tags and permits may not be resized, and must be printed to the original size. However, you can trim excess paper up to the border of the document itself. 

These and other changes are highlighted in yellow throughout the regulations.

Photo: Amanda Hubler, 2020 premium elk tag holder, took this bull in the Sixes Unit on the first day of hunt.  

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