Make fishing part of your President’s Day Weekend/Valentine’s Day plans. Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13-14.
No fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag, Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required by Oregon residents or nonresidents to fish, crab or clam in Oregon on those dates.
Although no licenses or tags are required these two days, 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, especially for salmon and steelhead fishing, in the Zone where you will be fishing by visiting the Recreation Report, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/
You can also check the Recreation Report for the best fishing opportunities this time of year. With winter weather forecast for the weekend, ice fishing for trout or yellow perch could be an option, but be sure the ice is safe, wear safety gear and follow these other tips (https://myodfw.com/articles/14-tips-ice-fishing-oregon) Several waterbodies in NW, SW and Willamette zones will be stocked with trout, a good option for beginners (see Rec Report for details and our How to fish for trout video series for tips). If you live near Portland, Bend, Medford, Roseburg or in Lane County, there are lots of nearby options (see links for guides) or check out Easy Angling Oregon, https://myodfw.com/articles/easy-angling-oregon-introduction for other locations.
Crabbing and clamming page has lots of information about how to and where to, https://myodfw.com/crabbing-clamming --remember to take extra precautions during winter and never turn your back on the ocean. Always call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at1-800-448-2474 or check ODA’s Recreational Shellfish page (https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx ) before you go shellfishing. 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. As of today, razor clamming is closed along the entire coast due to domoic acid levels. Crabbing, bay clamming and mussel harvesting are open along the entire coast.
Please remember to follow ongoing precautions in place due to the virus:
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.
Wear a mask. Recreation areas can get more crowded during Free Fishing Weekend. Wear a mask outdoors when you can’t maintain six feet of distance from someone who doesn’t live in your household.
Wash your hands often. Keep up on personal hygiene and bring your own water, soap, and hand sanitizer with you.
Stay home if you are sick.
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.
Pack out what you pack in. Take any garbage with you.
Check for access before you go. ODFW does not control access to land or facilities (such as boat ramps) that 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. See Oregon Marine Board’s map at https://www.boatoregon.com/map