Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Rule Rule 635-001-0105
Bass and Walleye Fishing Tournaments


Black bass or walleye fishing tournaments are subject to provisions of ORS 498.279 (Black bass and walleye angling contests) and the following rules:

(1)

Permit Application and Processing; General Provisions.

(a)

The Department will accept applications for bass tournaments beginning November 1 of the year preceding the year in which the proposed tournament will be held. Requests will be processed and permits issued in order of time of receipt at the Bend ODFW office beginning December 15 of the year preceding the year in which the proposed tournament will be held.

(b)

Parties requesting conflicting tournaments are encouraged to resolve the conflict among themselves. Parties may submit an amended tournament request that resolves conflicts among competing applicants that reserves the priority date of the original requests.

(c)

At the request of the Commission, the sponsor of the event shall report the results of the event to the Commission, on a form provided by the Commission not later than 30 days after the end of the event.

(d)

The Commission may order closure of any waters to competitions or contests when the Commission considers such action necessary to protect wildlife resources.

(e)

Live fish must be released in scattered locations at least one mile from the weigh-in site or at locations designated by ODFW. The tournament director or a designee may exceed possession limits for the purpose of transporting fish from the weigh-in site to release sites on the same water.

(f)

No bass or walleye may be retained by tournament sponsors or participants after a tournament ends except as specified in subsection (1)(g).

(g)

The tournament director may dispose of fish that die during or as a result of tournament activities in the following manner:

(A)

donated in accordance with local bag and possession limits to individuals at the weigh-in site not participating in or with the tournament. The tournament sponsor must issue a receipt for donated fish that must stay with the fish. The receipt must include the name of the recipient and the species and number of fish donated;

(B)

the tournament director may exceed the bag or possession limit in order to transport the fish to donate them in a manner detailed in OAR 635-002-0005 (Disposal of Edible Wildlife).

(2)

Large Tournaments.

(a)

Large tournaments are those with more than 24 boats or 49 individuals participating.

(b)

A permit from ODFW is required. Sponsors must apply for permits at least 30 days prior to the event. Permit applications must include a written description of the manner in which the competition or contest is to be conducted. Such description shall include the location, dates and times of the event, the maximum number of boats participating, the amounts of prizes, and the equipment and methods to be used by contestants to keep fish taken in a live and healthy condition. Permits must be in possession of the sponsor or a designated representative at the tournament location, and must be shown to OSP or ODFW employees on request.

(c)

The frequency of bass tournaments and number of participants is limited. Surface areas of tournament waters will be based on Atlas of Oregon Lakes (OSU Press, 1985) (See Table 1). No more large competitions or contests for bass may be held on any particular body of water than provided by table 1, and no more often than once in any 13-day period except on the Columbia River downstream from Bonneville Dam, including the Willamette River upstream to Willamette Falls, and on Columbia River impoundments, where a competition or contest may not be held at launch sites less than 10 river miles apart more often than once in any 13-day period. Distance between launch sites will be determined from the River Mile Index for the Main Stem Columbia River (Hydrology Subcommittee of the Columbia Basin Inter-Agency Committee, 1962) and the Willamette River Recreation Guide (Oregon State Marine Board and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 1998).

(d)

If an organization has applied for and received a tournament permit for a particular lake continuously for the past 25 years, that organization will receive “grandfather” rights to a permit on that lake. That organization will retain “grandfather” rights as long as it:

(A)

continuously reapplies for a permit every year; and

(B)

draws a minimum of 50 participants for two years in a 3-year period. If an organization with “grandfather” rights to a certain waterbody fails to meet the above criteria, ODFW shall rescind that organization’s grandfather rights but may permit the organization to retain its grandfather rights if it failed to meet these criteria due to circumstances beyond its control. Once organizations with grandfather rights are allotted permits (which includes preference for selecting a date for a particular lake) the remaining permits will be awarded to competing organizations through a point system as described below:

(i)

Every year that an organization applies for one of the remaining permits and does not draw one, that organization receives a “point.” An organization can only receive a maximum of one point per year per waterbody. An organization must apply every year to retain their points, otherwise their points go to zero;

(ii)

If the number of organizations competing for the remaining permits after the grandfather allocation on a waterbody is less than the number of permits available, all organizations receive a permit and lose all of their points;

(iii)

If the number of organizations competing for the remaining permits on a waterbody is more than the number of permits available after the grandfather allocation, permits are allocated by lottery among the permit applicants with the most points. If permits are still available after this allocation, they are allocated by lottery among the remaining organizations with the next most points, and so on until all authorized permits are allocated;

(iv)

If an organization with a permit applies for an additional permit, it will only be considered after all organizations without permits have been granted one.

(e)

Not withstanding restrictions set forth in the Oregon Sport Fishing regulations published annually, the following catch and possession restrictions apply to participants in bass fishing tournaments. Participants competing as individuals may continue to fish while holding five bass of any size in the livewell, as long as one bass is released immediately upon catching a bass. Two person teams may continue to fish while holding 10 bass of any size in the livewell, regardless of the number of bass caught by each angler, as long as one bass is released immediately when either team member catches a bass. The released bass may be either the bass just caught, or from the livewell. However, if the number of participants on any single boat is three or more anglers, the possession limit per boat is limited to 10 bass of any size.

(f)

Frequency of walleye tournaments is limited to one in each 13-day period, and the total number of tournaments is further limited as provided in Table 2, however, a competition or contest for walleye on the Columbia River downstream from Bonneville Dam, including the Willamette River upstream to Willamette Falls, and on Columbia River impoundments, may not be held at launch sites less than 10 river miles apart more often than once in any 13-day period. Distance between launch sites will be determined from the River Mile Index for the Main Stem Columbia River (Hydrology Subcommittee, 1962) and the Willamette River Recreation Guide (Oregon State Marine Board and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 1998).

(g)

There is no limit on the number of participants in a walleye tournament.

(3)

Small Bass or Walleye Tournaments.

(a)

Small black bass or walleye fishing tournaments are those which have fewer than 50 participants and 25 participating boats.

(b)

Sponsors must notify the local ODFW District fish biologist and OSP office of the location, date and time of the event at least 10 days prior to the commencement of the event.

(c)

Tournament participant boats must be clearly marked as “Contestant” or “Tournament” in a manner visible without magnification from a minimum distance of 50 yards.

(d)

Notwithstanding restrictions set forth in the Oregon Sport Fishing regulations published annually, the catch and possession restrictions in subsection (2)(e)of these rules apply to participants in small bass fishing tournaments.
[ED. NOTE: Tables and publications referenced are available from the agency.]
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021