Fishing, Gales Creek, News

Second Free Fishing weekend of 2024 is June 1 and 2

The second free fishing weekend of the year is June 1 and 2, the weekend after Memorial Day weekend.

That means on Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, 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.

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

Locally, Hagg Lake will host a fishing event June 1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and June 2 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There, participants can use free fishing gear and learn from instructors if they’re unfamiliar with fishing.

To prepare for the weekend, there’s good news for area anglers. Hagg Lake, the most popular fishing spot in western Washington County, will be stocked with 4,026 legal sized trout Memorial Day weekend. There’s also a scheduled drop of 1,950 trophy size trout—that’s trout that are at least 15 inches—sometime between May 27 and June 7, which may or may not happen before or during the free fishing weekend event. The lake is stocked abut two dozen times throughout the year, mostly in the spring. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife doesn’t disclose the actual day they plan to stock bodies of water.

“Bred to fight,” is how the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODF&W) described the rainbow trout grown to trophy size in a 2017 press release. The program began following the 2015 legislative session when lawmakers worked with the department to launch a pilot program to stock larger fish in five lakes across the state. Since then, smaller lakes like Hagg Lake have been added to the program.

You can see all the bodies of water throughout the state scheduled to be stocked online.

Other common area stocked bodies of water include Gales Creek’s Dorman Pond, located just west of the Gales Creek Road and Highway 6 intersection, and Vernonia Pond, located in the city of Vernonia.

Dorman Pond was last stocked in the last days of April or the beginning of May, and it’s scheduled to be stocked just after free fishing weekend, though the amount of fish anticipated to be stocked was not yet available.

Vernonia Pond was last stocked with 5,500 legal trout and is not scheduled to receive any more fish this year.

There will be one more free fishing weekend in 2024; November 29-30 will close out the year.

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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