Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is reminding everyone that this Presidents' Day Weekend, February 17 and February 18, fishing will be free.

No licenses required

Fish, clam, and crab for free in Oregon without any fishing or shellfish licenses or tags. This includes areas that normally require a Combined Angling Tag, Columbia River Basin Endorsement, Two-Rod Validation, or Rogue-South Coast Steelhead Validation/Tag.

Both Oregon residents and visitors can take advantage of this free weekend.

Fishing regulations still apply

Closures, bag limits, and size restrictions still apply when fishing on the free weekend. Make sure to check the 2024 Oregon Fishing Regulations and the Recreational Fishing Report for specific details on your destination.

ODFW notes that fishing may be good for winter steelhead, along with trout in Willamette Valley and the mid-coast area.

Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon coast. Razor clamming is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to high levels of marine biotoxin domoic acid.

Recommended fishing areas

ODFW has recommended the following for fishing this weekend, based on current forecasts:

  • Winter steelhead season is underway on the:
    • North Coast -- Nestucca, Wilson and Trask
    • Mid Coast – Alsea, Siletz
    • South Coast – Rogue, Chetco, Umpqua
    • Willamette Valley – Sandy, Clackamas
    • Central Zone -- Hood
  • The spring trout stocking season is underway in the Willamette Zone and several waterbodies were stocked last week.
  • Native trout and mountain whitefish are available year-round in central and eastern Oregon rivers. Consider the Deschutes, Fall, Metolius, Blitzen and Wallowa.
  • Several previously frozen lakes and reservoirs are melting around the edges, creating excellent bank fishing opportunities for holdover trout.

Check these beginner guides to get started

Remember to go prepared for the weather conditions in your area, and to bring a friend for safety around open waters.

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