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Fish, Crab or Clam on Oregon Coast For Free This Weekend

Published 2/12/24 at 6:05 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Fish, Crab or Clam on Oregon Coast For Free This Weekend

(Oregon Coast) – Want to catch your own dinner this weekend on the Oregon coast? (Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is holding Free Fishing Weekend throughout the state on February 17 and 18, allowing you to go crabbing, clamming or fishing anywhere without the usual license or fees.

ODFW said President's Day weekend is for plans with friends and family. They're dropping any licenses or tags for fishing or gathering shellfish, which includes no need for the Combined Angling Tag, Columbia River Basin Endorsement, Two-Rod Validation or Rogue-South Coast Steelhead Validation/Tag.

It applies to residents and non-residents, which means those visiting the Oregon coast from Washington can get in on the fishy fun as well. That could be especially useful for fans of clamming from up north, as Washington coast beaches are not always open for razor clams.

“All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions,” ODFW said.

Currently, there is one part of the Oregon coast closed off to razor clamming: the section from Cape Blanco to the California border is closed because of the marine biotoxin domoic acid.

Check the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for rules and remember to keep an eye out for any in season regulation changes, especially for salmon and steelhead fishing, ODFW said.

Crabbing is open all along the Oregon coast and in the bays. You'll want to check for tips on getting started with clamming or crabbing.

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“Remember to check ocean conditions and take safety precautions - always clam with a friend and never turn your back on the ocean. Also, don’t forget to mark your crab buoys,” ODFW said.

The Recreation Report is updated each week, providing tips on the best places for fishing that coming week. Trout are stocked in the Willamette Valley and parts of the central Oregon coast rivers. Water levels and conditions change, and ODFW said winter could be a good time for steelhead, however check their site as some rivers are closed to fishing.

For beginners, Easy Angling Oregon is a great guide to getting started fishing in Oregon. If you live near Portland, Bend, Medford, Roseburg or in Lane County, there are lots of nearby options.

Call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check their Shellfish page before you go clamming or crabbing.

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Fishing in Coos Bay, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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