The Ultimate Guide to Oregon Fishing License Fees in 2024: Everything You Need to Know

Are you an avid angler eager to explore the bountiful waters of Oregon? Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, understanding the state’s fishing license fees and regulations is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the various types of fishing licenses available, their costs, and the essential rules you need to follow. By the end of this article, you’ll be fully equipped with the knowledge to plan your next fishing adventure in Oregon.

Types of Oregon Fishing Licenses and Their Prices

Oregon offers a variety of fishing licenses to cater to different angler needs. Here’s a breakdown of the main license types and their prices for the year 2024:

  1. Resident Annual Angling License: If you’re an Oregon resident, you can purchase an annual angling license for just $44. This license grants you the privilege to fish in all open waters throughout the state for an entire year. To qualify for a resident license, you must have lived in Oregon for at least six consecutive months prior to purchasing the license.
  2. Non-Resident Annual Angling License: For out-of-state visitors who plan on fishing extensively in Oregon, the non-resident annual angling license is a great option. Priced at $140.50, this license allows you to fish in all open waters for a full year. If you’re planning an extended fishing trip or multiple visits to Oregon throughout the year, this license offers the best value for your money.
  3. Short-Term Licenses: If you’re visiting Oregon for a shorter period, you can opt for a short-term fishing license. The following options are available:
  • One-Day Angling License: Perfect for a quick fishing getaway, the one-day license costs $23 for both residents and non-residents.
  • Three-Day Angling License: If you’re planning a weekend fishing trip, the three-day license is a great choice. It costs $42 for both residents and non-residents.
  • Seven-Day Angling License: For those looking to spend a week exploring Oregon’s waters, the seven-day license is available for $55 for both residents and non-residents.
  1. Youth Angling License (12-17 years old): Oregon encourages young anglers to take up the sport by offering a discounted youth angling license. For just $10, children aged 12 to 17 can enjoy a year of fishing adventures. This license is an excellent way to introduce the younger generation to the joys of fishing and foster a lifelong passion for the outdoors.
  2. Senior Citizen Angling License (70+ years old): Oregon honors its senior anglers by providing a discounted annual license. If you’re 70 years or older, you can purchase a senior citizen angling license for only $29. This license acknowledges the contributions of older anglers to the sport and ensures that everyone can continue to enjoy fishing throughout their lives.
License TypeResident FeeNon-Resident Fee
Annual Angling License$44.00$110.50
Shellfish License$10.00$28.00
Sports Pac (includes multiple licenses/tags)$196.50N/A
Combined Angling and Hunting License$73.00N/A
Youth License (ages 12-17)$10.00$10.00
Youth Sports Pac$55.00N/A
Senior Angling License (ages 70+)$29.00N/A
Senior Combination License (ages 70+)$47.50N/A
Pioneer Combination License (ages 65+)$6.00N/A
One-Day Angling License$23.00$23.00
Two-Day Angling License$42.00$42.00
Three-Day Angling License$59.50$59.50
Seven-Day Angling LicenseN/A$93.50
Disabled Veteran Combination LicenseFREEN/A
Uniformed Services Angling LicenseN/A$44.00
Types of Oregon Fishing Licenses and Their Prices

In addition to these main licenses, there are a few supplementary permits you might need depending on your fishing preferences:

  • Combined Angling Tag: If you plan on fishing for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, or halibut, you’ll need to purchase a Combined Angling Tag for an additional $46.50. This tag helps fund the conservation and management of these highly sought-after species, ensuring their populations remain healthy for future generations of anglers.
  • Two-Rod Validation: If you want to use two rods while fishing, you’ll need to add a Two-Rod Validation to your license for an extra $28.50. This validation allows you to increase your chances of success by having two lines in the water simultaneously. It’s important to note that the Two-Rod Validation is only valid in certain water bodies, so be sure to check the regulations before using two rods.
  • Columbia River Basin Endorsement: Anglers fishing in the Columbia River Basin must purchase this endorsement for $9.75 to help fund the management and conservation of the area’s fisheries. The Columbia River Basin is a vital watershed that supports a wide variety of fish species, and this endorsement ensures that the necessary resources are available to protect and enhance these valuable resources.

Choosing the Right Fishing License

With so many options available, it’s essential to choose the fishing license that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as your residency status, the duration of your fishing trips, and the species you plan to target. If you’re a frequent angler, investing in an annual license might be more cost-effective than purchasing short-term licenses throughout the year.

For residents, the annual angling license offers the best value, allowing you to fish year-round without the need for additional permits. If you’re planning on targeting salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, or halibut, be sure to add the Combined Angling Tag to your license.

For non-residents, the choice between an annual license and short-term licenses depends on the length and frequency of your visits. If you’re planning multiple trips or an extended stay in Oregon, the annual license is likely the most economical option. However, if you’re only visiting for a short period, a one-day, three-day, or seven-day license may be more suitable.

When purchasing a license for a child or teenager, the youth angling license is an excellent choice. Not only does it provide a full year of fishing at a discounted price, but it also encourages young anglers to develop a love for the sport and an appreciation for the outdoors.

For senior anglers, the discounted annual license is a fantastic option, allowing them to continue enjoying their favorite pastime at a reduced cost. This license recognizes the importance of keeping fishing accessible to all, regardless of age.

Understanding Oregon’s Fishing Regulations

Obtaining a fishing license is just the first step. To ensure a responsible and lawful fishing experience, familiarize yourself with Oregon’s fishing regulations. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Seasons and Closures: Oregon’s fishing seasons vary depending on the water body and the species you’re targeting. Some areas may have seasonal closures to protect spawning fish or to allow for population recovery. Always check the current regulations before planning your trip to avoid disappointment and potential legal issues.
  2. Bag Limits: Each fish species has a specific bag limit, which is the number of fish you’re allowed to keep per day. These limits help maintain healthy fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Respect the bag limits and practice catch-and-release when necessary. If you’re unsure about the bag limit for a particular species, consult the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet or the ODFW website.
  3. Size Restrictions: Certain fish species have size restrictions in place to protect juvenile fish and maintain a balanced ecosystem. Familiarize yourself with the minimum and maximum size limits for the species you plan to catch and release any fish that don’t meet these requirements. Using a measuring device can help you determine if a fish is of legal size, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution if you’re unsure.
  4. Gear Restrictions: Oregon has specific regulations regarding the type of fishing gear you can use. Some water bodies may have restrictions on the number of rods, the type of bait, or the use of barbed hooks. Make sure your gear complies with the local regulations to avoid any legal issues. If you’re using artificial lures, be aware of any restrictions on the size, weight, or type of lure allowed in specific waters.
  5. Catch-and-Release Best Practices: If you plan on releasing your catch, it’s crucial to do so in a manner that minimizes stress and injury to the fish. Use barbless hooks whenever possible, as they cause less damage and make it easier to remove the hook. When handling a fish, use wet hands or a soft, wet cloth to avoid removing the protective slime coat. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible, and gently support its body when removing the hook. If the fish is exhausted, hold it upright in the water and allow it to recover before releasing it.

Staying Informed and Up to Date

Fishing regulations can change from year to year based on population dynamics, conservation efforts, and other factors. To stay informed about the latest updates, visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) website. The ODFW regularly publishes the “Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations” booklet, which contains comprehensive information on seasons, bag limits, and gear restrictions. You can obtain a copy of this booklet at any ODFW office or license vendor, or download a digital version from their website.

In addition to the regulations booklet, the ODFW website offers a wealth of information for anglers. You can find detailed maps of fishing locations, updates on current fishing conditions, and tips for success. The website also features a helpful “Weekly Recreation Report” that provides insights into the best fishing opportunities around the state, as well as any changes to regulations or closures.

Joining local fishing clubs or online forums is another great way to stay informed about the latest regulations and fishing trends. These communities often have experienced anglers who are willing to share their knowledge and provide guidance to newcomers. They can also alert you to any changes in regulations or new opportunities in your area.

Where to Purchase Your Oregon Fishing License

Now that you’re well-versed in the types of licenses available and the regulations to follow, it’s time to get your hands on an Oregon fishing license. Here are the main options for purchasing your license:

  1. Online: The most convenient way to buy your fishing license is through the ODFW website. Simply create an account, select the desired license type, and complete the payment process. You can print your license immediately or save a digital copy on your smartphone. Buying your license online is quick, easy, and ensures that you always have your license with you, even if you forget to bring a physical copy.
  2. ODFW Offices: If you prefer a face-to-face interaction, visit any of the ODFW offices located throughout the state. The knowledgeable staff will assist you in selecting the appropriate license and answer any questions you may have. ODFW offices also offer a variety of educational materials and resources, making them a great place to learn more about fishing in Oregon.
  3. License Agents: Oregon has authorized numerous license agents, including sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and some convenience stores. These agents can sell you a fishing license and provide helpful advice on local fishing conditions. Shopping at license agents is a great way to support local businesses while getting your fishing license.

When purchasing your license, be prepared to provide your personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth. If you’re applying for a resident license, you may need to show proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill. It’s important to note that fishing licenses are non-transferable and non-refundable, so be sure to double-check your information before finalizing your purchase.

Free Fishing Days in Oregon

To encourage more people to experience the joys of fishing, Oregon designates a few days each year as “Free Fishing Days.” On these special occasions, anglers can fish in open waters without a license, although all other regulations still apply. In 2024, the Free Fishing Days are scheduled for:

  • June 1-2, 2024 (Saturday and Sunday)
  • November 29-30, 2024 (Friday and Saturday)

Free Fishing Days are perfect opportunities to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing or to explore new waters without the need for a license. They’re also a great way to reconnect with fishing if you’ve been away from the sport for a while. Keep in mind that while you don’t need a license on these days, you still need to follow all other fishing regulations, including bag limits, size restrictions, and gear requirements.

If you’re planning to take advantage of Free Fishing Days, consider visiting one of Oregon’s many beautiful lakes, rivers, or streams. Some popular destinations include:

  • Crater Lake: This stunning lake is known for its crystal-clear water and excellent trout fishing. While you can’t fish directly in the lake, you can fish in the streams that feed into it.
  • Deschutes River: This iconic river is a favorite among fly anglers, offering world-class trout fishing amidst breathtaking scenery.
  • Willamette River: Running through the heart of Oregon, the Willamette River provides excellent fishing for a variety of species, including salmon, steelhead, and bass.
  • Coastal Rivers: Oregon’s coastal rivers, such as the Rogue, Umpqua, and Nestucca, offer fantastic opportunities for salmon and steelhead fishing.

No matter where you choose to fish on Free Fishing Days, remember to practice good stewardship and leave the area better than you found it. Pack out any trash, respect private property, and be mindful of other anglers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Tips for a Successful and Enjoyable Fishing Trip

To make the most of your fishing experience in Oregon, consider the following tips:

  1. Plan ahead: Before embarking on your fishing trip, research the water body you intend to visit. Check the weather forecast, water conditions, and any local reports on fishing success. This information will help you prepare accordingly and increase your chances of a fruitful outing. Make sure you have all the necessary gear, including appropriate clothing, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  2. Invest in quality gear: Having reliable and well-maintained fishing gear can make a significant difference in your success and enjoyment. Invest in a sturdy rod and reel combo, high-quality line, and appropriate lures or bait for the species you’re targeting. If you’re new to fishing, consider visiting a local tackle shop and asking for recommendations based on your skill level and the type of fishing you plan to do.
  3. Practice catch-and-release: While it’s exciting to bring home a fresh catch for dinner, practicing catch-and-release can help maintain healthy fish populations. When releasing a fish, handle it gently with wet hands and minimize its time out of the water to increase its chances of survival. If you do plan to keep a fish, make sure it meets the size and bag limit requirements, and dispatch it quickly and humanely.
  4. Respect the environment: As a responsible angler, it’s crucial to minimize your impact on the environment. Dispose of any trash properly, avoid disturbing wildlife, and tread lightly on the shoreline. When fishing from a boat, be cautious of your wake and avoid disturbing sensitive aquatic habitats. By being a good steward of the land and water, you’ll help preserve Oregon’s natural beauty for generations to come.
  5. Learn from experienced anglers: One of the best ways to improve your fishing skills is to learn from those with more experience. Consider hiring a local fishing guide for a day to learn the ropes and gain valuable insights into the best techniques and locations. If hiring a guide isn’t feasible, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with fellow anglers you meet on the water. Most are happy to share their knowledge and offer helpful tips.
  6. Be patient and adaptable: Fishing is a sport that requires patience and adaptability. Some days, the fish may not be biting, no matter how perfect your technique or gear. When this happens, don’t get discouraged. Instead, try changing your approach, switching up your lure or bait, or moving to a different spot. Remember that the joy of fishing lies not just in the catch, but in the experience of being outdoors and connecting with nature.

Do I need a fishing license if I’m just catching and releasing fish?

Yes, you need a valid fishing license even if you plan to release all the fish you catch. The only exceptions are during Free Fishing Days or if you’re fishing in a private pond that doesn’t connect to public waters.

Can I use my Oregon fishing license to fish in other states?

No, an Oregon fishing license is only valid for fishing within the state’s borders. If you plan to fish in another state, you’ll need to obtain a license from that state’s fish and wildlife agency.

Are there any discounts available for Oregon fishing licenses?

Yes, Oregon offers discounted licenses for youth (ages 12-17) and seniors (ages 70 and above). Additionally, disabled veterans and active-duty military personnel may qualify for reduced-fee licenses.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you purchased your license online, you can easily reprint it from the ODFW website. If you bought your license from an ODFW office or license agent, you’ll need to visit a license vendor to obtain a duplicate license for a small fee.

Can I fish with multiple rods in Oregon?

In most cases, you can only use one rod at a time when fishing in Oregon. However, if you purchase a Two-Rod Validation in addition to your fishing license, you can use two rods in certain designated waters.

Conclusion

Fishing in Oregon is an incredible experience that offers endless opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and connection with nature. By understanding the state’s fishing license fees, regulations, and best practices, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your time on the water. Remember to purchase the appropriate license, familiarize yourself with the local rules, and always prioritize safety and conservation.

Oregon’s diverse landscapes and abundant fisheries provide a lifetime of fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. From the rugged coastline to the cascading rivers and serene lakes, there’s no shortage of breathtaking locations to cast your line. Whether you’re a seasoned pro seeking trophy-sized salmon or a beginner looking to reel in your first trout, Oregon’s waters have something to offer.

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