PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is banning all non-resident hunting, fishing and shellfishing activity, starting at midnight Friday, in an effort to stop a surge of non-resident anglers mostly from Washington.
The action follows Washington’s decision to close all hunting, fishing and shellfishing until at least early May, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife cited COVID-19 concerns and said it will last until coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
Curt Melcher, director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said north Oregon Coast communities are especially supportive of the action, although the appearance of Washington boats in the lower Willamette River and Multnomah Channel are also a concern.
“Rural communities are concerned about the potential impact of COVID-19 on medical and emergency services, search and rescue and their citizens. Some have asked us to close seasons to reduce travel,” he said in a news release. “We would like to keep seasons open to give locals an outlet during this difficult time, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to travel to these communities. Stick close to home.”
The emergency order applies to all current fishing and hunting seasons. Oregon will refund hunters with out-of-state tags for spring bear or turkey hunts.