ODFW To Oregon Anglers, Hunters: ‘Find A Destination Close To Home’

Update March 24, 2:20 p.m.: Here is a link to official guidance from the Oregon State Police on the governor’s order yesterday:

Oregon fishing and hunting managers are echoing today’s executive order from Governor Brown to help contain the spread of COVID-19 with a simple tweet this afternoon:

It reads “Please do this. Stay Home. Save Lives.”

ODFW is continuing to stock lakes with fish, in part to clear out room to rear the next crop, and they’re urging sportsmen to pursue their activities close to where they live and to stay 6 feet or more apart from nonhousehold members while casting a line, hunting turkeys or at any stops they have to make along the way for gas or supplies.

THE ALSEA RIVER AT THE BLM’S MISSOURI BEND RECREATION AREA. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

That’s the word coming out of Salem this afternoon even as fishing guides suspend tripsOregon State Parks closed its entire system May 8 at the earliest, and more and more rural locations away from virus centers act to bar access to fishing facilities.

Salmon Harbor Marina on Winchester Bay today and the Port of Garibaldi at the mouth of Tillamook Bay yesterday both closed their boat launches, and many communities are now asking out-of-towners to just stay away.

“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,” ODFW said.

Five Oregonians have died from COVID-19, with 191 total confirmed cases across the state, according to the Oregon Health Authority update today.

ODFW said that Brown’s order did not close fishing and hunting and that seasons remain open. Anglers and hunters were advised to “minimize traveling to hunt and fish and find a destination close to home.”

“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,” ODFW said.

With the “extremely fluid” nature of things as governments and residents react to coronavirus, ODFW was advising checking with county, state and federal land managers for access.

Health tips from Oregon fish and wildlife managers include:

  • If you’re ill, stay home.
  • Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue (then throw it away) or inside of your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wash regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It’s up to you to practice good personal hygiene, and not every place at every park can be kept clean all the time.
  • If a place is so crowded you can’t maintain a healthy social distance—at least six feet—find a different place to go.

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