New year, new rules for outdoor enthusiasts

PORTLAND, Ore. - Attention all hunters, anglers, boaters and ATV riders - with a new year comes new rules and regulations and knowing what they are will keep you out of trouble.

And to help you figure out what's new this year, we've put together a list of the big changes or modifications that you should be aware of:


Sturgeon Fishing

In 2012, the bag limit was five but in 2013 you will only be able to keep one. It was originally supposed to be a limit of two this next year, but the Fish and Wildlife Commission made a last-minute change based on new information they received about Columbia River fisheries.

Barbless Hooks

You'll have to use a barbless hook when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout on the Columbia River from the mouth to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam. The rule will also affect some tributaries, including the Willamette River from the mouth to the falls in Oregon City (including the Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River).

Ice Fishing

Diamond Lake will be open for fishing year round in 2013, which means anglers can do some ice fishing during the winter months.

Free Fishing Weekend

Free Fishing Weekend (no license required to fish, crab or clam) is moving to the first full weekend in June to align it with the state's Free Camping Weekend and National Trails Day.

Mandatory Reporting for Hunters

Mandatory reporting - hunters need to report on their hunts by Jan. 31, whether they were successful or not. Even if you did not go hunting, you still need to report. If you don't report on time, you could be fined $25. And as an incentive to report on time, you will be entered to win a special tag that allows for a longer hunting season and expanded area.

Bow Hunting

Three new spike only controlled bow hunts have been added in Mt. Emily, Walla Walla, and Wenaha; these controlled hunts will be the hunter's only archery elk opportunity for the year. The controlled elk tag will be required to deer hunt in these units during the archery season

Elk Hunting

The unit-wide Ochoco antlerless elk hunt has been replaced with private lands hunts to move elk back onto national forest lands, and a second controlled bow hunt for bulls only has been added in the Ochoco Unit.

Antlerless elk hunting on National Forest lands on the west slope of the Cascades will be reduced for almost all hunters, muzzleloader, rifle, archery, including those with Disability Permits.


No changes this year, but the Oregon State Marine Board would like boaters to keep these two laws in mind:

  • Mandatory Education Requirement - Anyone who operates a powerboat over 10 horsepower must take a boating safety course (classroom, approved Internet, or equivalency exam) and carry a boater education card with them on the water.
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program - Boaters need to have a permit as part of the ongoing effort to keep invasive species out of Oregon's waterways.

ATV Riding

Effective January 1, 2012, both on-line safety training and hands-on rider training are required for youth 15 and under.

The classifications for Class I, II, and III ATVs are changing, and a fourth class of ATV (Class IV ATVs- Side x Sides) is being added.

For a Complete List of Oregon's 2013 Regulations


Barbless Hooks

You'll have to use a barbless hook when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout on the Columbia River from the mouth to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam.

Mandatory Reporting for Hunters

Hunters have a chance to win one of nine 2013 special hunting permits if they report this year's hunting activities for black bear, deer, elk, or turkey to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife by Jan. 10. There's a $10 fine for not reporting.

For a Complete List of Washington's 2013 Regulations