SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Following Wednesday's announcement by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that it will close all recreational fisheries in the state, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced it will close recreational salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River, effective Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
In a press release distributed Wednesday afternoon, the Washington agency announced its decision to temporarily close recreational fishing and shellfishing statewide in the wake of Gov. Jay Inslee’s order on actions to limit the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19.
Oregon and Washington jointly manage fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River bordering both states and seek to have concurrent regulations. At this time, other ongoing fisheries in Oregon remain unchanged, and fishing for species other than salmon and steelhead will still be allowed in Oregon portions of the Columbia River as described in permanent rules.
Anglers are reminded to follow the rules for social distancing and maintain at least 6 feet distance from other people and minimize non-essential travel, as directed in an executive order issued earlier this week by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. ODFW also asks that anglers and the public help ensure the safety of ODFW employees they may encounter in the field who are doing their jobs by maintaining adequate social distance.
As with the Washington closure, ODFW said it anticipates the Columbia River salmon and steelhead fishing closure lasting at least until April 8.
ODFW added that it "regrets any inconvenience to anglers and appreciates everyone coming together to help slow the spread of COVID-19."