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Start planning your 2018 outdoor season: Fishing and hunting licenses make great gifts

2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations
2018 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017

SALEM, Ore.—The new 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing and 2018 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations  should now be available at outdoor stores and ODFW offices, or find them online at or through our new recreation website

As of today (Dec. 1, 2017), 2018 licenses and tags are also on sale at license sales agents, most ODFW offices, and online.

Fishing and hunting licenses make great gifts, especially for kids. Youth age 12-17 can fish (including. Columbia River Endorsement), hunt, crab and clam all year for $10 with the Youth License, or gift the Sports Pac ($55) and add all major hunting and fishing tags/validations including deer, elk, turkey, bear, cougar,  and combined angling tag. ODFW’s special big game hunt raffle tickets also make great stocking stuffers ($4.50-$11.50 for chance to win a special deer, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn or Rocky Mountain goat tag).

To give a license, tag or other document as a gift, you need the hunter or angler’s full name and date of birth (day, month, year). If the person has had a license before, make sure you have their ODFW hunter/angler ID number which is found at the top of their license and stays the same every year. If you are purchasing for someone who has never had a license, you will need to provide their social security number in compliance with Federal and State Laws. 

What’s New for 2018

Big Game Hunting: New in the 2018 regulations, significant changes are in yellow highlighted text not red text, consistent with fishing regulations. The only major regulatory changes for hunters are the extension of the age limit for the Mentored Youth Hunt Program to include 14 and 15 year-olds (goes into effect January 1, 2018), and a removal of the cap on non-resident fall bear tags.

Hunters will notice some changes in the regulations as staff have been working to make the document easier to follow and understand. New this year, each species follows the same standard format and organization; there are more maps and tables and less text; and all regulations for Youth, Veterans and Landowners are in one place on new pages.

The changes are part of a multi-year effort to simplify Oregon’s Big Game Hunting Regulations. “Hunting regulations are very important for the conservation of species and safe/ethical hunting practices, and we want to make it as easy as possible for hunters to understand them,” said Nick Myatt, ODFW Grande Ronde Watershed Manager. “We are in the process of revisiting our regulations to simplify overly complicated regulations and eliminate unnecessary ones. Hunters will see additional changes in coming years ahead.”

Fishing:  New in the 2018 regulations, five rods or lines are allowed when ice-fishing for anglers with a two-rod validation. Other changes are noted in yellow highlight throughout the regulations. (Note that two rods are only allowed when fishing in lakes, ponds and reservoirs, though the two-rod validation may be extended to some rivers and streams in 2018 if conditions allow.)

Fishing regulations have also been reorganized for clarity. New this year, rule exceptions are consistently organized and listed from the mouth to the headwaters, with each reach break identified, so anglers can better understand the regulations for each section of the river they are fishing.

Free Fishing Days for 2018: Under statute set by the Oregon State Legislature, ODFW can offer eight days of free fishing each year. The 2018 days are scheduled for Feb. 17-18 (Presidents’ Day Weekend), June 2-3, Sept. 1-2 (Sat.-Sun. of Labor Day Weekend) and Nov. 23-24 (the two days after Thanksgiving). While ODFW had originally planned to offer free fishing Dec. 31, 2017-Jan. 1, 2018, the Department has cancelled those dates to stay within the eight-day limit in 2018 and to offer free fishing during months when fishing conditions are better.

Fee increase for 2018
Fees for some hunting and fishing documents will increase for 2018, as approved by the Oregon State Legislature when it passed ODFW’s 2015-17 budget. Typically, ODFW raises fees once every six years but during this six-year cycle, fee increases are staggered with a more modest fee increase every two years. For 2018, a hunting license will increase by $1.50 to $33.50, an annual fishing license will increase by $3 to $41 and a combination license will increase by $4 to $69. The cost of juvenile licenses will stay the same as part of efforts to make hunting and fishing affordable for young people and their families. For a full list of the new fees visit



Michelle Dennehy,, (503) 931-2748

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