SALEM — Here’s a free and fun way to entertain family and friends over Thanksgiving weekend — take them fishing. Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Friday and Saturday.
No fishing/shellfish licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required those two days. Both Oregon residents and nonresidents can fish for free.
All other fishing regulations apply, including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for rules and remember to check for any in season regulation changes, especially for salmon and steelhead fishing, at https://bit.ly/3ixcE6k.
These two days after Thanksgiving have been set aside for free fishing for several years, as part of the #OptOutside movement encouraging people to get outdoors. Oregon State Parks also waives parking fees to provide free day-use entry on “Green Friday.”
Check the Recreation Report for the best fishing opportunities this time of year, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report For beginners, Easy Angling Oregon is a great guide to getting started fishing in Oregon, https://myodfw.com/EAO.
Trout fishing is always a great choice for beginners; try spots that were stocked heavily during summer and earlier in fall as they may have holdover trout. In eastern Oregon, try the Crooked, Blitzen, Fall, Metolius and Wallowa rivers for trout fishing. The coho run was a bright spot for fish this year and there are still coho available in some areas.
November can be one of the best times of the year to crab and MyODFW has all the information you need to get started. Currently, crabbing is open in bays, beaches, estuaries, tide pools, piers and jetties along the entire Oregon coast (though closed in ocean waters until Dec. 1).
The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat. Currently there are no shellfish closures but remember to always call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at (800) 448-2474 or check ODA’s Recreational Shellfish page before you head out.