Fish Oregon For Free

June 11-12 is Free Fishing Weekend and on those two days Oregonians won't need a fishing or shellfish license to fish, crab or clam anywhere in the state.


"Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to take your spouse, kids or friends on the fishing trip without having to buy a license," said Rick Hargrave, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife deputy administrator for information/education.

During Free Fishing Weekend, fishing licenses and tags are not required, although all other regulations apply including bag limit and size restrictions. People who already have a combined tag for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and halibut are required to use it.

To help beginning anglers get started, ODFW and its partners are offering over 35 free fishing events throughout the state. At most events there will be free loaner equipment for novice anglers, special events for children, and lots of volunteers to help. For a complete list of events with times and locations.

"Even if you've never baited a hook, we can show you how to fish," Hargrave said.


Free Fishing Weekend is always the first weekend after the first Monday in June. But remember, it's always free fishing for kids under 14 years old.

During Free Fishing Weekend, June 11-12, Oregonian's can fish, crab and clam for free. Events throughout southwestern Oregon can help parents introduce their children to the joy of fishing with help from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists and volunteers.

During Free Fishing Weekend, fishing licenses and tags are not required, although all other regulations apply including bag limit and size restrictions. People who already have a combined tag for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and halibut are required to use it.


The following events held are Saturday, June 11 unless noted:

Coos County:

  • Eel Lake at Tugman State Park, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. At a series of stations, kids will learn how to id fish, tie knots, and cast along with fishing courtesy and water safety. There is a free lunch, fishing tackle gift bag and the chance to catch trout out of a net pen.
  • Powers County Park, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. The 21st annual kids fishing derby is open to all kids 16 and younger. There are prizes for largest fish in several age categories and young anglers can learn fish identification and try the casting contest. Call the Powers Ranger District for information, 541-439-6200.

Curry County:

  • Libby Pond, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. This event for kids 13 and younger features food, loaner fishing equipment and gear, and a fishing derby with prizes.
  • Elk River Hatchery, June 11 and June 12 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. both days for children 10 and under. Children may fish either Saturday or Sunday but not both days to ensure as many kids as possible can fish at the hatchery. More information: David Chambers, 541-332-7025.

Douglas County:

  • Cooper Creek, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. This popular event has a kiddie pond for kids ages two to eight. There will be loaner rods and reels, a casting contest, "bumbling fisherman" skit, and a fish cleaning station. Once kids go through an education station, they get a ticket for raffle drawings. Free hot dogs and Pepsi are provided.
  • Diamond Lake, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Prizes for kids and help for new anglers.
  • Herbert's Pond, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. ODFW is stocking legal-size trout prior to Free Fishing Weekend. Prizes, bait supplies and help for first-time anglers are featured at this event for kids 16 and under
  • Lake Marie, Sunday, June 12, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. This event is for kids 14 and under. Rods and reels will be available, along with help for first-time anglers. Kids can enter a casting contest and get a bounty for picking up litter. Hot dogs and soda are free to kids with a nominal charge for adults to help pay for next year's event.

Jackson County:

  • Expo Ponds, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Parental supervision is required. Rods and reels will be available for loan and bait is provided, along with help for beginning anglers.
  • Hyatt Lake, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. This popular event features free camping Friday and Saturday nights and free breakfast Saturday from 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. Rods and reels can be borrowed and the bait is free. The BLM, Hyatt Resort and United Hunters & Sportsmen will offer boat rides. Kids can paint fish to create fish print t-shirts.
  • Lost Creek Lake Marina, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. This event has prizes for largest fish, free bait, and limited loaner rods and reels. Information: 541-560-3334.

Josephine County:

  • Lake Selmac, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. This event at the Trout Shelter by the boat ramp is for kids 16 and younger. There will be help for new anglers, free bait and loaner rods, and kids can make a fish print. A Coast Guard cruiser will be on display and kids have a chance to win prizes.

The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.

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