fishing

Fish for free in Oregon the first weekend in June, Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7.

No fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required to fish, crab or clam in Oregon that weekend. Although no licenses or tags are required, all other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations to find out more and remember to check for any in season regulation changes at https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/

June’s Free Fishing Weekend is usually a special one for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff and fishing groups that host events all over the state, bringing all the gear newcomers need to try fishing. Unfortunately, due to concerns and restrictions related to COVID-19, ODFW is not hosting or sponsoring any events this year.

A number of waterbodies are being stocked in advance of Free Fishing Weekend as in past years. (Due to concerns about crowding where fish are stocked, ODFW is not currently providing its trout stocking schedule or announcing which waterbodies are stocked.) Hatchery trout are a great fish for beginners and there are plenty of tips at MyODFW.com including a video series about How to fish for trout. Beginners can also consider warmwater fishing, which is a good opportunity during summer.

Nonresidents can also fish for free June 6-7, but there are still special restrictions on the coast. Currently, clamming is closed to nonresidents coast wide. Crabbing is open to nonresidents along most of the coast but is closed to nonresidents in the Columbia River and in ocean areas north of Cape Falcon (nonresidents may crab in bays and estuaries north of Cape Falcon e.g. Necanium River estuary).

Both residents and nonresidents should follow ongoing precautions in place due the virus:

• Check for access before you go. Many spots have reopened to public access but some may still be closed. Remember even if fishing is open, the boat ramp or park where you want to go might be closed. ODFW does not control access to land or facilities it doesn’t manage, so check with the land manager or facility owner where you want to go about what’s open before you leave home.

• Stay home if you are sick.

• Stick close to home. Don’t travel far to hunt, fish, clam or crab.

• Be prepared. Restrooms and other facilities may be more limited. Bring your own soap, water, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, food, etc.

• Avoid crowds. Go someplace else if your destination looks crowded.

• Practice social distancing. Keep six feet between you and anyone who doesn’t live in your immediate household, including while on a boat or at a fish cleaning station.

• Wash your hands often. Keep up on personal hygiene and bring your own water, soap, and hand sanitizer with you.

• Pack out what you pack in. Take any garbage with you, including disposable gloves and masks.

If you are planning to crab or clam, remember to call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check ODA’s Recreational Shellfish page beforehand. The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat.

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