Pete Heley Outdoors 01 / 09 / 2019

As of January 1st, 2019, deer and elk struck by vehicles can be legally salvaged in Oregon using a free online permit that will be available at The change in law was required after the passage of Senate Bill 372 during the 2017 Oregon State Legislative session.

Following are the key regulations to follow to legally salvage a roadkilled deer or elk: The free online permit application found at must be submitted within 24 hours of salvaging a deer or elk. (Note that completing an online permit is not allowed until the animal is actually salvaged as specific information about location, date and time of salvage is required.)

Only deer and elk accidently struck by a vehicle may be salvaged and for human consumption of the meat only. Intentionally hitting a deer or elk remains unlawful.

White-tailed deer may only be salvaged from Douglas County and east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains because of the protected status for white-tailed deer in most of western Oregon.

The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.Any person (not just the driver who struck the animal) may salvage a deer or elk killed by a vehicle.
Only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal may salvage an animal in cases where a deer or elk is injured and then humanely dispatched to alleviate suffering; law enforcement must also be immediately notified as required by state Statute (ORS 498.016).

Antlers and head of all salvaged animals must be surrendered to an ODFW office within five business days of taking possession of the carcass; see office location list at and call ahead to schedule an appointment. (Tissue samples from the head will be tested as part of the state’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease.)

While antlers and heads must be surrendered, other parts such as the hide may be kept by the roadkill salvage permit holder.

Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk. ODFW/OSP will not perform game meat inspections for any deer or elk salvaged under the roadkill permit program.

The state of Oregon is also not liable for any loss or damage arising from the recovery, possession, use, transport or consumption of deer or elk salvaged.
Sale of any part of the salvaged animal is prohibited, but transfer to another person will be allowed with a written record similar to transferring game meat.
The new rules apply only to deer and elk. It remains unlawful to salvage other game mammals including pronghorn antelope, bears and cougars. Find out more at

Crabbing at Half Moon Bay continues to be better than expected. More rain may move most of the crabs closer to or into the ocean where sport crabbers will have to compete with commercial crabbing fleet.

The South Jetty continues to fish well when conditions allow anglers to fish it. Over the last few years the numbers of lingcod and striped surfperch seem to have declined slightly, but the numbers of greenling and rockfish have increased.

Recent rains have ensured that virtually every coastal stream has fair numbers of winter steelhead in them. Now the key to fishing success is to be aware of which streams are in the best fishing condition. Eel Creek, which typically gets its steelhead later than larger streams probably has more coho salmon in it than steelhead and the salmon are not legal to keep.
In fact, fair numbers of salmon smolt typically opt to remain in Eel Lake rather than swim down the Eel Creek outlet during low water years – sometimes reaching a length of 14-inches, but are not legal to keep under current regulations. However landlocked coho salmon were legal to keep when they were stocked in Galesville Reservoir and they have been stocked in Cooper Creek Reservoir for the last two years and the daily limit is five – in addition to the five trout daily limit.

Tenmile Lakes seem to be the best winter largemouth fishery, but it is winter – a bass of less than three pounds was the heaviest bass landed in a recent bass tournament.

It will be several more weeks before lakes in our area start receiving trout plants – but if someone needs a quick “fix”, they might consider Junction City Pond, an eight acre pond located on the west side of Highway 99 just south of Junction City. The pond was planted this week with 2,250 legal rainbow trout and 500 trophies (15-inchers) – or more than 340 trout per acre. If you go – expect company.

Continuing a longstanding tradition of of paying exorbitant amounts for mega-sized bluefin tuna, a Tokyo fish market recently paid three million dollars for a 612 pound fish – or $4,901.96 per pound. For those wanting a small taste of the mega-tuna, the price would be at least $306.38 per ounce – although the price almost always goes up for smaller portions.

Pete Heley works parttime at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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