Fishing, News, Recreation

First Free Fishing Weekend of 2023 will be President’s Day Weekend

Free Fishing Weekend will return to Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19 (President’s Day Weekend), the first of three such “Free Fishing Weekends” scheduled to be held in 2023.

On those days, fishing, crabbing, and clamming is free to all residents and non-residents, meaning no fishing licenses or tags, including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement are required.

“The SMALL PRINT: Area closures, bag limits and all other regulations still apply,” ODFW said.

ODFW has compiled a number of angling resources, including a list of 50 fishing locations within one hour of Portland, a list which includes Gales Creek’s 8-acre Dorman Pond on Highway 6, a weekly recreation report, and a trout stocking schedule

In a Feb. 9 press release, ODFW said that Vernonia Pond had been stocked with 180 surplus hatchery winter steelhead in January, wit the last of those fish deposited in the pond the week of January 29.  

Hagg Lake was stocked with 1,000 trophy-size trout this week, according to ODFW’s schedule.

ODFW does not publish exact dates for fish stocking. 

ODFW has created a map that shows — complete with little fish icons — stocking locations and popular fishing locations throughout the state.

ODFW sport fishing regulations can be found online

The next free fishing dates will fall on June 3 and 4, and again for Thanksgiving Weekend on November 24 and 25.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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