Portland, Ore. – Here’s one way to beat the heat, head to the river or lake for free fishing weekend in Oregon. Anyone can fish for free in Oregon without a license or tag Saturday and Sunday August 15th and 16th. You just have to follow all the ODFW rules and regulations. You can still get into trouble for using the wrong hooks or keeping the wrong fish in certain areas. You can go clamming and crabbing too for free, with some exceptions.

Michelle Dennehy with ODFW says there are some changes to this free fishing weekend because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Clamming is closed to non-Oregon residents and crabbing is closed in ocean areas on the Northern coast, because they don’t want areas to get too crowded. They’re also not posting the trout shocking schedule for the same reason, but ODFW says they are stocking lakes like they normally do.

Your best bets for fishing this weekend are warm water fish like bass, or go to the higher lakes where it’s cooler for trout.

Just bring your sanitizer and  stay a full fishing rod length away from the next guy.

Read more:

It’s Free Fishing Weekend Aug. 15-16 – two days when you, your friends, your family and everyone else can fish (and crab and clam) for free any where in Oregon that’s open. No license, tag, endorsement or validation needed. Nonresidents included. (Regular closures, bag limits and other regulations still apply.)

Clamming, and some crabbing, remains closed to nonresidents

Clamming and mussel harvest remain closed to nonresidents along the entire Oregon coast. Crabbing is open to nonresidents from Cape Falcon (between Seaside and Tillamook) south to the CA border.

Download the latest MyODFW app

Version 2.3 will prompt you to update your app whenever a new version is available, and provides an easier way to access the ‘forgot username or password’ feature directly from the app. Learn more about other changes in this new release.

This newest version of the MyODFW app is now available in the Apple and Google Play stores.

Best bets for Free Fishing Weekend

Where will you be fishing this weekend? You will be fishing, won’t you? It’s free! If you haven’t decided where to go, here are a few possibilities to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Lost lake in Clatsop County stays fairly cool and we see good over summer survival of trout there. It also received some extra fish last spring so there should still be trout available.
  • Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes (Florence area) are still some of the best warmwater fishing opportunities as well as good trout fishing for stocked trout and resident cutthroat on the mid-coast.
  • Just about any river on the north or mid-coast will have good populations of cutthroat trout and good opportunities for good cutthroat trout fishing.
  • Smallmouth bass fishing has been fantastic on the Main and South Umpqua.
  • Thanks to new temporary regulations in Coquille River system, anglers can now use bait, spears and spear guns to harvest smallmouth bass. It’s been working, too!
  • The Rogue River and tributaries above Lost Creek Reservoir should be a good place to target trout throughout the summer. Willamette River from Albany down to Salem for smallmouth and largemouth bass, fish with lures or streamer flies especially early or late in the day.
  • Fishing has been pretty good on the Fall River, and the recent warm weather has brought out the terrestrials. Consider ant, beetle and cricket patterns for surface fishing.
  • Lost Lake and Ollalie Lake where water levels and temperatures are in great shape for trout fishing.
  • Spaulding Reservoir was extremely good this weekend. Rainbow and cutthroat trout from 12-16 inches were biting lures very aggressively. The reservoir continues to drop so get out to harvest trout!
  • The Chewaucan River is in great shape right now and fish are feeding heavily on abundant insect hatches.
  • The NF Sprague below Sheepy Creek continues to fish well with attractor dry flies.
  • Bass fishing in the lower Grande Ronde is picking up with dropping water and warming temperatures. Look for bass in slow pools near large structure. Fishing with top-water lures can be productive during early morning and late evening.
  • The high lakes in the Strawberry Mountains outside of Prairie City are a perfect way to get some hiking in and beat the heat while catching some brook trout.

Nothing listed seems quite the thing for you? Then check out the zone reports for a myriad of additional opportunities.

Sign up for a hunter education class

Upcoming hunter education field days and traditional classes have resumed and are now being posted. Check out the list of upcoming classes.

More about: