Published 11/24/2019 at 6:33 PM PDT
By OREGON TRAVEL DAILY STAFF
(Portland, Oregon) – This weekend, after the afterglow of Thanksgiving is done, Oregon gives you a couple of free days for fishing, clamming or crabbing. No licenses will be required, including the special angling, endorsements or validations of various modes of fishing or areas.
It all happens November 27 to 28.
Every year, these two days get set aside for free fishing, as part of the #OptOutside movement encouraging people to get outdoors after Thanksgiving. Oregon State Parks also waives parking fees to provide free day-use entry on “Green Friday” the day after Thanksgiving.
Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, recently announced a set of closures on some businesses – along with restaurants and bars – in order to halt the out-of-control spread of the Coronavirus, going from November 18 to December 2. Even so, Oregon officials recognize that spending time outdoors is essential in these times and none of the freezes apply to outdoor spots like state parks.
All fishing and hunting seasons also remain open as scheduled. While fish hatcheries are closed to visitors, all ODFW wildlife areas are open to visitors for hunting, fishing and viewing (though some hunt areas may be closed to protect migrating waterfowl and visitor centers are closed). Fish hatcheries will allow access to fishing grounds off-site as they are able during normal working hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) But parking may be more limited at some hatcheries; call the hatchery ahead of time if you have questions about access.
While Free Fishing also applies to nonresidents, Oregon is pleading with nonresidents to not travel into Oregon just to fish. The governors of Oregon, Washington and California are asking nonresidents to quarantine for 14 days after they enter the state.
Although no licenses or tags are required November 27-28, 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, 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 numerous nearby options.
There are some restrictions when it comes to clamming: razor clamming is closed in both Washington and Oregon because of biotoxins that can be fatal. All other types of clams are open to harvesting in Oregon.
State officials ask you to 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
“Getting outdoors to fish can be a safe and healthy activity right now, and a good respite during this difficult time,” said Curt Melcher, ODFW Director. “We do ask all who participate to please follow all virus precautions so everyone has a safe time during these Free Fishing Days in Oregon.”
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