Do Kids Need a Fishing License in Oregon? Exploring the Rules & Regulations

Do Kids Need a Fishing License in Oregon?

Fishing is a beloved pastime for many families in Oregon, offering a chance to connect with nature and create lasting memories. However, navigating the rules and regulations surrounding fishing licenses can be confusing, especially when it comes to children. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore whether kids need a fishing license in Oregon, the exceptions, and everything you need to know to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable fishing experience.

Age Requirements for Fishing Licenses in Oregon

In Oregon, the age at which a fishing license is required varies based on the type of fishing activity. Here’s a breakdown of the age requirements:

Freshwater Fishing

  • Children under 12 years old do not need a fishing license for freshwater fishing in Oregon.
  • Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 must purchase a Youth License, which includes fishing, hunting, and shellfish licenses, as well as a Columbia River Basin Endorsement.

Saltwater Fishing

  • Children under 12 years old do not need a fishing license for saltwater fishing in Oregon.
  • Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 must purchase a Youth License, which includes fishing, hunting, and shellfish licenses, as well as a Columbia River Basin Endorsement.

It’s important to note that while children under 12 are exempt from needing a fishing license, they must still follow all other fishing regulations, such as bag limits and size restrictions.

Exceptions and Special Permits

While the age requirements outlined above are the general rules, there are a few exceptions and special permits to be aware of:

Free Fishing Days

Oregon offers several free fishing days throughout the year, during which no fishing licenses or tags are required for anyone, regardless of age. These free fishing days are an excellent opportunity for families to introduce their children to the sport without the need for a license.

Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit

Children with disabilities may be eligible for the Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit, which allows them to fish without a license. This permit is available free of charge and includes disabled clam digging. However, regular fishing licenses and tags are still required.

Resident Landowners

In Oregon, resident landowners are exempt from needing a fishing license when fishing on land they own, except when fishing for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, or halibut.

Purchasing Youth Fishing Licenses

If your child falls within the age range requiring a Youth License, you can purchase it online through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) website or at any licensed vendor. The Youth License costs $10 and is valid for one year, from January 1 to December 31.

When purchasing a Youth License, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Child’s full name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Social Security number (required by state and federal laws)

It’s important to note that the Youth License includes fishing, hunting, and shellfish licenses, as well as the Columbia River Basin Endorsement, which is required for fishing for salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon in the Columbia River Basin.

Conclusion

Fishing is a wonderful way to connect with nature and create lasting memories with your children. By understanding the age requirements and exceptions for fishing licenses in Oregon, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience on the water. Remember to always follow all fishing regulations, respect the environment, and prioritize safety when fishing with children.

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