If you want to catch yourself some fresh meat, you’d better be an Oregonian, because the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is no longer issuing permits for hunting, fishing, clamming, and crabbing to out-of-state folks.
That’s bad news for the tourism industry, since in a normal year thousands of people visit Oregon’s forests, coastal towns, and beaches.
Other states, like Washington, have closed hunting and fishing altogether. Oregon is keeping seasons open, with the exception of Columbia River salmon/steelhead fishing. Meanwhile, the ODFW is seeking input from rural counties over their concerns about visitors hunting and fishing that could potentially overwhelm their limited resources.
ODFW has these recommendations for people who want to engage in recreational meat-sourcing during the current emergency:
- Stay close to home rather than traveling far. The governor’s executive order says hunting and fishing are OK, but to limit travel.
- Practice social distancing and stay six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live in your immediate household, including when outdoors.
- Check access where you are headed as the area may be closed. State parks are closed, counties have closed some parks and boat ramps, beach access is closed in some areas and national forests, and BLM lands have closed recreation sites.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Carry needed supplies with you to minimize non-essential stops, including buying your license/tag online instead of making a trip to a license sale agent, if possible, and bringing all needed food, water, and sanitization supplies with you.
Permits can be purchased online by May 15.
By John M. Burt