Fishing, Gales Creek, News

Free fishing coming after Thanksgiving for Oregon

It’s that special time of year when families gather, eat a lot, take a moment to be grateful for what they have, and then, the next morning, spend an incredible amount of money on consumer goods and electronics they don’t have, but really, really want.

Or, you could go fishing, or hiking, for free.

That’s right, the final free fishing weekend of the year is the day after Thanksgiving, and the state parks that regularly charge parking fees, which includes Stub Stewart State Park in Buxton.

Here’s what you need to know.

On Friday and Saturday, November 24 – 25, fishing is free in Oregon.

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.

You still have to follow the rest of the fishing regulations though.

“Area closures, bag limits and all other regulations still apply,” the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife said.

Here’s a good starting point for those unfamiliar with fishing in Oregon.

Not the fishing type, and don’t want to go shopping? Go to a state park instead.

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, walk off those calories you packed on with a trip to a state park. Across Oregon, the 24 parks that usually charge for parking will waive those fees as part of what the state’s parks department insists is popularly known as “Green Friday.”

“We’re proud to continue this tradition and offer everyone the chance to explore parks in the fall,” said Lisa Sumption, director of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in a press release.

One of those parks has a direct tie to the Gales Creek area: Champoeg State Heritage Area, located just southeast of Newberg, is where the early leaders of what would become the state of Oregon gathered to vote on the fate of the territory: British, or American?

A commemorative stone marking the names of those who voted in 1843 to make Oregon a U.S. territory. Photo: Chas Hundley

They chose America, and one of those men, Joseph Gale, would be chosen to join the three-person executive committee to run the territory, the precursor to the governorship. Gale, of course, settled for awhile in the Gales Creek Valley near what’s known now as the Watts community where Stringtown Road and Gales Creek Road intersect. It’s his name that was applied to the stream, and Gales Creek, the community, was in turn named after the creek, causing a minor amount of confusion forevermore when this writer is tasked with a story involving both the creek and the community.

Find all the parks the fee waiver applies to online.

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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.

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