The upcoming Presidents Day weekend marks the first of Oregon’s four free-fishing weekends in 2019.
Anglers and shell-fishers (crabbing, clamming) won’t need licenses or tags on Saturday or Sunday anywhere in Oregon. While Monday is a holiday, it’s not considered part of the free-fishing weekend and licenses will be required again.
Fishing is not free in Washington this weekend, although Oregon welcomes non-residents to participate.
License and tag-free fishing, crabbing and clamming include special tags for salmon and steelhead and the Columbia River Basin Endorsement.
However, all other Oregon fish and shellfish laws apply – closures, bag limits, size restrictions, etc.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife suggests winter steelhead or trout fishing on the coast (many lakes are stocked), trout in the Willamette Valley (again, many are stocked) or ice-fishing across Eastern Oregon.
Locally this week, department trucks are stocking West Salish Pond, off NE Glisan Street in Fairview, with 500 large trout, about 12 inches long.
Other valley waters being stocked are Walling Pond and Walter Wirth Lake in Salem and Junction City Pond.
The state has also stocked the following waters with two-pond trout: Cottage Grove Pond, Timber Linn Lake in Albany, Waverly Lake, EE Wilson Pond north of Corvallis, St. Louis ponds, Sheridan Pond and Huddleston Pond.
Check the department’s trout-stocking schedule online. Go to dfw.state.or.us, then click on the “Fishing” tab across the top and scroll down to “Stocking Schedule” for a list of locations and link to a map.
The next free-fishing weekend will be June 1-2, which includes numerous department activities on waters statewide.
That will be followed by free-fishing on Aug. 17-18 and Nov. 29 and 30 (Thanksgiving weekend).
Faraday closing sooner: Anglers who visit PGE’s Faraday Lake following the state’s announcement that all trout limits are lifted (for that lake only) through March 31 should be aware of a couple of significant points.
First, PGE must close the lake March 16 to begin a long drawdown and construction upgrades on the dam. Therefore, the lake’s access gate will be open only through Friday, March 15.
And, while the lake was stocked with thousands of trout in 2018, it hasn’t received any hatchery trout since. There are, however, surviving leftovers the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife doesn’t want to see wasted.
– Bill Monroe