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Free Fishing Weekend (OR & WA)

Anglers can fish for free in Oregon and Washington one weekend each year.

Since the late 1980s, thousands of Washingtonians have gone fishing legally without a license. How? By taking advantage of Free Fishing Weekend, typically scheduled for one weekend in late May or early June. Contact your state fish and wildlife office for more information or visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/events/free_fishing/events.asp

During those two days, no license is required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. Also, no vehicle use permit will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the 500 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to revive an old hobby or to introduce friends and family to fishing, and adults can introduce kids to fishing on a wide variety of waters around the state.

Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to revive an old hobby or to introduce friends and family to fishing, and adults can introduce kids to fishing on a wide variety of waters around the state. Whether you're used to the daily 9-5 grind every week, studying to get your online criminal justice degree or sitting in rush hour traffic, Free Fishing Weekend provides you with a relaxing atmosphere to be outdoors and away from the stresses of the world. 

Catch record cards are available free (during free fishing weekend) at hundreds sporting goods store and other license dealers throughout Washington. In Oregon anglers are are not required to get a catch record card, but if they already have one they must record their catch.  See http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer near you. In Oregon visit http://www.xtools.us/pages/dealerlist_pages/oregon.html to find a purchase location.

Trout is the biggest attraction for those who take advantage of the two-day license waiver. But those who participate each year has a number of other options including:

         Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish biting in lakes

         Shad, sturgeon, walleye and hatchery steelhead on the Columbia River

         Chinook salmon in several Columbia River tributaries and inland streams

         Halibut in Puget Sound and any areas remaining open off the coast

         Lingcod, halibut, bottomfish and rockfish off the Oregon and Washington coasts and in areas of Puget Sound 

         Crab and other shellfish in a number of bays and in the ocean

For more information on these and other fishing options, check the WDFWs Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, available online (https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/index.jsp).  Updates on fishing seasons are also available by calling the WDFW Fishing Hotline (360-902-2500) and the Shellfish Hotline (866-880-5431). In Oregon visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/free_fishing/ or call 971-673-6008

 

 

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