a group of turtle surveying volunteers poses with turtles

Volunteer with ODFW

Build a wood duck house to encourage nesting. Walk a stream counting steelhead redds. Teach families to fish. Just some of the things ODFW volunteers do to help protect and enhance Oregon's natural resources.

Current volunteer opportunities

Teach, protect, restore

When you sign up to be an ODFW volunteer, you're helping to protect Oregon's fish and wildlife, manage ODFW properties and teach Oregonians to hunt, fish and appreciate wildlife.‌

There are almost 4,000 ODFW volunteers donating their time and talents. The work they do is diverse. Whether it's working with your hands, being outdoors in the field, or sitting on a board guiding programs, you'll find challenges and rewards volunteering at ODFW.‌

Tell us about your interests

Find the perfect fit

Volunteer opportunities at ODFW are almost endless. What would you like to do?

Volunteer fishing instructor with two young students


Teach hunter education, help families learn to fish, assist at workshops, teach archery and shooting skills. ‌

high school group holding salmon carcasses for stream enrichment


Plant streamside vegetation, build bird nesting boxes, monitor fish and wildlife populations, help boost fish production.

Volunteer holding a western pond turtle


Help biologists learn more about wildlife behavior by trapping, monitoring and recording animal patterns and activity. ‌

A volunteer maneuvers a tractor


Help plant crops on wildlife areas, clean up at fish hatcheries, build sign kiosks, maintain equipment.

Volunteer hatchery hosts landscaping


Be an RV host at a hatchery or wildlife area: landscape, welcome visitors, enjoy beautiful locations. ‌

Wildlife rehabber showing a kestral


Be a subject matter specialist, give presentations and tours, take photographs, help promote events, survey anglers.


A shooting instructor helps a young student steady her shotgun, as they stand in an open field.
A volunteer ODFW shooting instructor helps a young hunter steady her shotgun as she prepares to take a shot. ODFW photo.

If you're an avid hunter, angler, marksman or dog handler, then you already know how much those activities have enriched your life. Consider passing those skills on by teaching new hunters how to hunt safely and ethically, or introducing families to the fun of fishing, even working with your bird dog to help new hunters bag a pheasant. You could also help ODFW introduce long-time anglers to something new like steelhead or surfperch fishing

This could be your legacy, helping to create a new generation of hunters, anglers and outdoors people, with each lesson taught helping to preserve hunting and fishing traditions and protecting habitats.‌

  • This is a great match if you love teaching outdoor skills to others – young or old. It's also a good fit if you have the gift of hospitality and want to help set up for and assist at various events. Event support specialists may help set up the room to maximize learning, greet and register participants, organize and set out meals, or do general tear down and clean up. You do not have to be a hunter or angler to help at one of ODFW's varied classes.
  • Workshops and events can take place inside, outside or a mix of both, and in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Donating even one day a year is all it takes to be helpful. We can be as flexible as possible to find the right opportunity to fit your schedule.

Find an opportunity


A group of volunteers stand in a shallow pond helping release Chinook smolts from a large water truck parked nearby
Nestucca anglers and ODFW staff at Rhoades Pond, near Hebo, release young Chinook Salmon for their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Don Robison.

In many areas, human activity has created severe challenges for fish and wildlife species. Overfishing, degraded habitats, the introduction of invasive species – all make it harder for native creatures to survive and thrive. As an ODFW volunteer, you can help us restore these native landscapes and re-establish natural processes by restoring fish populations, re-establishing native plant communities and habitats, and rebuilding and managing wild and game animal populations. Pitch in and help us leave Oregon a better place than we found it.‌

  • Gardeners, hikers and other people who like to work with their hands and be outdoors will enjoy this work. An appreciation of nature and wildlife is a definite plus, as is a willingness to help ODFW biologists restore the woods, fields and waters that offer critical habitat to Oregon's native species.
  • Volunteers on restoration projects may work inside preparing for projects, or outside where most of the restoration work occurs.
  • Donating even one day a year is all it takes to be helpful. We can be as flexible as possible to find the right opportunity to fit your schedule.

Find an opportunity


A birder in an open field holds binoculars to his face to look for birds.
A group of birders helps ODFW biologists track birds in the wild. Photo by Laura Tesler.

To help protect and conserve fish and wildlife species, we need to know more about them to better understand their benefits and needs. ODFW studies the life history, habits, migratory patterns and distribution of species that live in habitats as diverse as ocean beaches to desert canyons to high alpine mountains. Our biologists and scientists rely on volunteers to help them collect data and document animal behavior. For volunteers it's a chance to observe some of Oregon's most unique species up close and in their natural environments.‌

  • This is a good fit for people who are interested in learning more about Oregon's wildlife species and are willing to hike or ride along with biologists to record findings and observations. ODFW biologists study a variety or mammals, birds, amphibians and even some plants that provide important habitat.
  • Research takes place both indoors and outdoors working in a variety of conditions. ‌
  • Donating even one day a year is all it takes to be helpful. We can be as flexible as possible to find the right opportunity to fit your schedule.

Find an opportunity


ODFW relies on volunteer carpenters, metal workers and other craftspeople to design and build the tools it needs to education the public (kiosk construction and sign installation), monitor wildlife populations (duck traps to capture birds for banding and assessment), and to maintain its facilities (wildlife area office repair or hatchery maintenance).‌

  • Skilled craftspeople and people who love working with their hands to help more skilled workers. It only takes one person to read a tape measure as long as there's another person holding the other end.
  • Work environments vary and can include working outside, inside a shop or even in your own workshop, depending on the nature of the project.
  • Donating even one day a year is all it takes to be helpful. We can be as flexible as possible to find the right opportunity to fit your schedule.

Find an opportunity


Volunteer hosts rakes the yard next to his RV.
Dwaine Smith, one of ODFW’s many RV Host volunteers, tends the grounds at the ODFW Adair offices. ODFW photo.

Volunteer hosts and RV hosts are are asked to make at least a 30-day commitment and to provide 20 hours per week in service to support various ODFW needs. RV Hosts receive a site with full hookups, at no charge, during the time of their volunteer service. Hosts may be asked to welcome visitors and participants to ODFW properties and events or to maintain grounds near or adjacent to their site location. Host volunteers may also help set up and take down at events, register participants, help track volunteer hours, or a variety of other duties, as agreed, to fit your skills and personality. Volunteer RV hosts live onsite at ODFW hatcheries and wildlife areas at a beautiful, remote location.‌

  • RV owners who enjoy traveling to and around Oregon and staying in beautiful remote locations. RV Hosts must have good driving records and clean backgrounds. Host may work independently or as part of a team depending on needs at the local facility. Most ODFW RV hosts are retired, semi-retired or otherwise have the flexibility to be onsite as needed. RV Hosts may be from Oregon or from anywhere that has a highway leading to Oregon.
  • Work and live in beautiful remote locations. Hosts may work on a variety of indoor and outdoor tasks.
  • Some RV Host or host assignments are as short 30 days but others could be longer depending upon the needs of ODFW and the availability of the host.

Find an opportunity


The people of ODFW – both staff and volunteers -- have a million stories to tell. Stories about the work we do at hatcheries and wildlife areas, about the people who participate in our workshops and events, about the kids who catch their first fish at a family fishing event. If you like sharing stories by telling them, writing them or photographing them, you're just the kind of storyteller we need.‌

  • We need people with a passion for storytelling and the speaking, writing and/or photography skills to tell great stories. Other helpful skills include interviewing skills, record keeping and a knack for recognizing a good photo or story when you see one.
  • There are good photos and stories across the breadth of ODFW activities, and some of the best will be in the field at ODFW events (indoors and out), hatcheries or wildlife areas, or ODFW field project sites.
  • Donating even one day a year is all it takes to be helpful. We can be as flexible as possible to find the right opportunity to fit your schedule.

Find an opportunity

Next steps

  1. Use the links on this page to go to see a list of current volunteer opportunities available.
  2. Sign up if you see something you want to be a part of.
  3. Contact the ODFW volunteer coordinator if you still have questions, or want to talk about additional opportunities. Dial 503-947-6413 or email ODFW.VolunteerProgram@odfw.oregon.gov.