What is poaching?

Poaching is the illegal killing of fish and wildlife. Poaching steals natural resources from all Oregonians.

Poaching can take many forms:

At the beach

  • Watch for people taking a container of clams, crab or fish off the beach, emptying it in coolers, then returning with empty containers to get more.
  • People stashing their catch in containers in bushes, under vehicle seats, or in the hold of a boat.
  • People placing clams or mussels in other peoples’ containers.

On the water

  • Poachers taking fish (especially salmon and sturgeon) beyond legal limits, and outside of legal seasons because there is a market for these products.
  • Sturgeon secured near the bank, tied to something on the bank or placed in an unusual container.
  • People fishing at night or walking on the riverbank after dark, retrieving things from the bushes or water.

In fields & forests

  • Vehicles parked haphazardly, indicating the driver got out in a hurry.
  • Vehicles traveling slowly in the dark, casting light with a flashlight or spotlight.
  • People without visible tags on big game animals.

Poisoning is poaching

  • The highly-illegal use of poison to kill wildlife is another form of poaching and can look like:
  • Leaving poisoned carcasses where scavenging animals will find it
  • Leaving poison bait in the woods to attract animals
  • Adding toxic chemicals that harm marine species to bodies of water

Rewards for reporting poaching

You can receive a cash reward or preference points for turning in poachers:


The Oregon Hunters Association established the Turn-in-Poachers (TIP) reward as an incentive for people to report suspicious activity. The fund pays cash for reports leading to citations or arrests. TIP rewards apply for the illegal killing of fish and game mammals.


ODFW awards hunter preference points as an incentive for people who report poaching if the report leads to a citation or arrest. You can apply those points to any legal Oregon hunting opportunity.  

OWC logo

The Oregon Wildlife Coalition (OWC) will pay rewards of $500 to $1,000 for poaching reports that lead Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers to an arrest or citation. OWC launched the new reward program to address poaching of non-game species.

  • Birds: $500 Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Osprey. All other protected avian species: see category below for listed species
  • Mammals: $500 Cougar, Bobcat, Beaver (public lands only), Black bears, Bighorn Sheep, Marten, Fisher, Sierra Nevada Red Fox
Oregon Marine Board

Oregon Outfitters & Guides Association (OOGA), supported by donations from the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB), offers a $200 cash reward for information leading to a citation of inidividuals acting as an Outfitter Guide for the Illegal Killing of Wildlife, Illegally Obtaining Oregon Hunting or Angling Licenses or Tags, or Illegally Offering to Act as an Outfitter Guide as defined in ORS 704.010 and 704.020.

Cash rewards and hunter preference points generally go to the first credible report of an incident that leads to an arrest or citation. In some cases, they may be awarded to more than one individual. If you would like points or rewards for your call, be sure to leave your name and contact information so OSP F&W can follow up with you. The information is confidential. You can also report anonymously.

What happens to poachers

Oregon has gotten tougher with poachers in recent years, increasing penalties and in some cases turning poaching into a felony.

Poaching can come with a whole range of legal and financial penalties that may include:

The suspension of your hunting or fishing licenses for 3 years for a first or second offense, and a lifetime ban for a third offense.

Fines between $25 to $50,000 depending on the wildlife that have been poached.
Forfeiture of firearms and other equipment used to facilitate criminal taking of wildlife.

Maximum five-year prison sentence

The three prongs:

Protect Oregon’s Wildlife is a partnership between ODFW, OSP F&W and the DOJ. The three organizations are working together to solve poaching by using a three-prong approach of:

Each organization has a unique mission that when combined aim to protect Oregon’s wildlife

Ways to report

TIP line

The quickest and easiest way to report a tip is to call 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone.


Submit a tip via our online form to help us stop poaching.


Email: TIP@osp.oregon.gov
Between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.