Event, Fishing, OREGON

Free Fishing Weekend returns President’s Day weekend, Feb. 19-20

Dorman Pond in Gales Creek. Photo: Chas Hundley

Free Fishing Weekend will return to Oregon on President’s Day weekend—specifically, Saturday and Sunday, February 19 and 20—the first of three such “Free Fishing Weekends” to be held in 2022.

On those days, fishing, crabbing, and clamming is free to all residents and non-residents, meaning no fishing licenses or tags, including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement are required.

The SMALL PRINT: Area closures, bag limits and all other regulations still apply,” ODFW said.

Traditionally, the free fishing weekends are accompanied by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife-sponsored fishing events, but all have been canceled since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to ODF&W

ODFW has compiled a number of angling resources, including a list of 50 fishing locations within one hour of Portland, a list which includes Gales Creek’s 8-acre Dorman Pond on Highway 6, a list of family-friendly fishing areas throughout the state, a weekly recreation report, and a trout stocking schedule

We rely on subscribers to keep the lights on in our little newsroom. Join us with a digital subscription today, $15 off right now for your first year with an annual subscription, or $8/a month. Click here to subscribe.

According to ODFW, Hagg Lake is scheduled to be stocked next at the end of February or beginning of March with 12,000 legal-size trout. In Gales Creek, Dorman Pond on Highway 6 is expected to receive 1,000 legal-size trout in the middle of March, while Vernonia Pond will receive 2,500 trout around the same time. ODF&W does not publish exact dates for fish stocking. 

ODFW has created a map that shows — complete with little fish icons — stocking locations and popular fishing locations throughout the state.

Check with the local jurisdiction that maintains or owns the body of water you plan on fishing for any closures due to the coronavirus pandemic or other reasons.

ODFW sport fishing regulations can be found online

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

Sign up for free Gales Creek news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!

New patients only, no cash value, cannot be combined with any other offers