2024 Oregon Free Fishing Days (With Top Spots)

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Here are Oregon’s free fishing weekends in 2024:

  • February 17 and 18: President’s Day Weekend
  • June 1 and 2: Traditional Free Fishing Weekend/Oregon State Parks free camping
  • November 29 and 30: Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving

Having a Free Fishing Weekend has been a tradition in Oregon for years. These days, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offers a half dozen free fishing days over three weekends on its annual calendar.

We’ve told you the days already, but stick around for some great suggestions on where to go cast your lines for your best chances of success.

But first, free fishing means that anglers don’t need a license, tag, or endorsement to go fishing, crabbing or clamming anywhere in Oregon on those designated days.

However, you must still follow all the other rules, such as catch limits, local or seasonal closures, etc. So, our best advice is to study statewide, zone, and specific water regulations before heading out.

The long-standing traditional Free Fishing Weekend is held the first Saturday and Sunday in June, which is when the Oregon State Parks traditionally waives fees at its many locations.

These days, ODFW typically designates additional free fishing days at other times of the year. Best bets in recent years have been near President’s Day in February and just after Thanksgiving in November.

The Oregon State Legislature authorized the additional free fishing opportunities to help introduce more anglers to the sport.

Now, let’s look at some of your best options for catching fish and shellfish during free fishing days in Oregon.

February Free Fishing

In February, steelhead fishing is going strong with winter runs on the Oregon Coast and in several rivers near Portland.

Trout fishing is just getting started, but expect many lakes and ponds in the Willamette Valley to be stocked with trout.

Ice fishing might be a safe option if the weather has been cold enough in the Cascade Range and Eastern Oregon.

Also see: Oregon’s Best Fishing in February.

February Trout Stocking

The following locations are scheduled to be stocked the week of February 12 to 16, right before this month’s Free Fishing Weekend on Feb. 17 and 18.

See the second table for some additional locations scheduled to be stocked a week earlier across Western Oregon.

In both tables, if the location name is a link, it will take you to an article dedicated to fishing at that place.

February 12-16 Stocking Schedule

LocationTrout Stocked
Henry Hagg Lake1,000*
Mt Hood Pond (MHCC Campus)666
Row River Nature Pk (C.G. Pond)1,000
Salish Pond, West500*
Silver Creek Reservoir1,000*
St. Louis Pond1,000*
Alder Lake566
Big Creek Reservoir 11,332
Big Creek Reservoir 22,764**
Cleawox Lake1,332
Dune Lake332
Munsel Lake666
Olalla Creek Reservoir2,864**
*All trout stocked at these Willamette Zone locations are trophy-sized rainbows.
**Trout stocked at these Northwest Zone locations include some trophy-sized rainbows.
Source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

February 5-9 Stocking Schedule

LocationTrout Stocked
Alton Baker Canal1,250
EE Wilson Pond1,250
Row River Nature Pk (C.G. Pond)1,000
Sunnyside Park Pond1,040*
Timber Linn Lake840*
Walter Wirth Lake1,875
Waverly Lake900
Alder Lake770*
Carter Lake1,000
Cleawox Lake3,953*
Dune Lake602*
Lost Lake666
Munsel Lake2,150*
Thissel Pond666
Reinhart Park Pond300
Selmac Lake5,000
*Trout stocked at these locations include some trophy-sized rainbows.
Source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

June Free Fishing

This is prime time for many types of fishing in Oregon.

ODFW often stocks a boatload of hatchery-raised trout in waters across Oregon during the spring, including ahead of June’s free fishing weekend.

They also plan a substantial number of events at family-friendly fishing sites to help inexperienced anglers learn to fish, although those events can be canceled as needed.

In June, trout fishing is excellent across Oregon for both stocked and wild fish.

Bass fishing is also a strong draw during these months, and fishing for panfish such as crappie, bluegill and yellow perch is also quite good.

Summer steelhead, shad, sturgeon, spring Chinook salmon and shellfish also are worth looking into in mid-to-late spring. Kokanee fishing is excellent in deep mountain lakes.

Low tides at the coast could offer good razor clamming, especially on the northern Oregon Coast.

Check with Oregon State Parks about a scoring a free night at one of their campgrounds across the state.

Also see: Oregon’s Best Fishing in June.

November Free Fishing

Many of the trout lakes and ponds come back alive in the fall, especially those that are re-stocked with hatchery trout in the Willamette Valley.

Some likely spots to get stocked around then include Walter Wirth Lake (Salem), Waverly and Timber-Linn Lakes (Albany), Junction City Pond, and Alton Baker Canal in Eugene. Check the stocking schedule and the link to the Weekly Recreation Report at the bottom of this page for current conditions.

A few reservoirs we’d suggest for good fall trout fishing include Lost Creek Lake in Southern Oregon, Cottage Grove Reservoir and Dorena Reservoir in the southern Willamette Valley, Foster Reservoir in the Central Willamette Valley and Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove, west of Portland. (Editor’s note: Foster Lake has been very muddy lately due to the extreme drawdown of Green Peter Reservoir upriver.)

Additionally, several reservoirs around the state are nicely stocked a little earlier in the fall and would still be very good options by Black Friday.

Fall salmon fishing is winding down by late November, but there’s still time to catch some of Oregon’s top game fish and perhaps an early winter steelhead.

Catch and release sturgeon fishing can be excellent on the Willamette River.

Late November also can be an excellent time to go to one of Oregon’s best crabbing bays.

Also see: Oregon’s Best Fishing in November.

Find Your Fishing Spot

To help you choose your fishing spots on free fishing days and all year long, check out our Oregon home page for links to the best fishing in every Oregon county for opportunities near you. Another good resource is our month-by-month Oregon Fishing Calendar.

Either of those sources will take you to additional pages chock full of fishing information tailored to your interests, location, and time of year.

Consult ODFW’s website for updates related to free fishing, often in the form of news releases and through the weekly recreation report. You can find up-to-date regulations online as well.

Oregon Resources

ODFW Weekly Fishing Report
ODFW Trout Stocking Schedule
Oregon Fishing Regulations
National Weather Service