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Free Fishing Weekend

Photo by Thomas Walton.

Make fishing part of your Presidents' Day Weekend plans. Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19-20. No fishing/shellfish licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required those two days. Both Oregon residents and nonresidents can fish, clam and crab for free. All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for rules and remember to check for any in season regulation changes, especially for salmon and steelhead fishing, at https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/

Check the Recreation Report for the best fishing opportunities this time of year, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report For beginners, Easy Angling Oregon is a great guide to getting started fishing in Oregon, https://myodfw.com/EAO And if you live near Portland, Bend, Medford, Roseburg or in Lane County, there are lots of nearby options. Trout fishing can be a great choice for beginners and stocking is picking up (see the schedule ). If conditions permit, ice fishing offers a unique experience—make sure the ice is safe and take other precautions for a good experience. See ice fishing tips .

The winter steelhead run usually peaks in mid-February, so it's a good time of year for existing steelhead anglers to take a friend or family member with them to give it a try. This fishing isn't hard, especially if someone is showing you how (see steelhead fishing tips ). Bottomfishing could also be good if ocean conditions allow for boats to get out during Presidents' Day Weekend.

Prefer to crab or clam instead? MyODFW has all the information you need to get started clamming or crabbing . Remember to check ocean conditions and take safety precautions: always clam with a friend and never turn your back on the ocean. Currently, crabbing is open in bays, beaches, estuaries, tide pools, piers and jetties along the entire Oregon coast and in the ocean. With the dry weather, crab are moving back into the estuaries so crabbing could be good.

Razor clamming is currently closed from Cape Blanco, north of Port Orford, to the California border because domoic acid toxin levels are above the closure limit. 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. Always call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check their Shellfish page before you go out.

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