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Free Fishing, Crabbing, Clamming and Parking on Oregon Coast Right After Holiday

Published 11/20/23 a 5:35 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Free Fishing, Crabbing, Clamming and Parking on Oregon Coast Right After Holiday

(Oregon Coast) – After all that stuffing yourself on stuffing and turkey, it's probably a good idea to get moving outdoors a little bit. (Above: Fort Stevens / Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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In that spirit, right after Thanksgiving, Oregon officials offer up two days of free fishing, crabbing and clamming throughout the state, and free parking at state parks that normally charge a parking fee.

Free fishing, clamming and crabbing means you don't have to have a license to grab your own grub on the Oregon coast or elsewhere – happening November 24 and 25.

Free parking at Oregon coast state parks and other spots happens Friday, November 24.

On those two days following the holiday, no fishing licenses or tags are required, which includes the Combined Angling Tag, Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation. The freebie days are for state residents non-residents alike.

If ever there's a time to ditch Black Friday and head for the Oregon coast, this is it. Crabbing and clamming require no licenses, either. Hit the bays at Bandon, Lincoln City, Nehalem Bay or the bridge at Seaside for crabbing, although Newport's Yaquina Bay has a larger yield.

Cape Lookout

You still have to stick to other regulations such as catch limits, said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).

“Currently, crabbing is open in bays, beaches, estuaries, tide pools, piers and jetties along the entire Oregon coast,” ODFW said. “Crabbing is closed in the ocean due to the annual closure from Oct. 16-Nov. 30 each year.”

ODFW said to make sure you check ocean conditions and take safety precautions: always clam with a friend and never turn your back on the ocean.

From Seaside to the Columbia River is the highest density of razor clam populations.

Some areas of the coast are closed to clamming because of biotoxins, but those may change this week.

24 parks in the state park system charge a parking fee, but Green Friday turns those into freebie parks on November 24, allowing you work off that Turkey Day feast.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) said this has turned into an outdoor tradition for many families.

Among those that charge on the Oregon coast are Shore Acres near Coos Bay, Jessie M. Honeyman at Florence, Heceta Head just north of Florence, Cape Lookout, Ecola State Park at Cannon Beach and Warrenton's Fort Stevens. Those fees are waived during that day.

This includes others around the state such as Silver Falls, Champoeg, L.L. Stub Stewart, Smith Rock and Milo McIver.

However, at the south Oregon coast's Shore Acres the fees are waived until 4 p.m., after which the Holiday Lights event takes over, which has used a reservation system for parking and entrance fees.

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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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