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Buying an Oregon Fishing License in 2024

Are you eager to cast your line into Oregon’s bountiful waters, but feeling lost when it comes to getting your fishing license? You’re not alone. Many anglers, both residents and visitors, find the process of obtaining an Oregon fishing license confusing at first. But don’t let that hold you back from experiencing some of the best fishing in the country!

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to legally fish in Oregon’s diverse waterways in 2024. As an avid Oregon angler myself with years of experience navigating the licensing process, I’m here to share my knowledge to help you get out on the water with confidence. By the end of this article, you’ll be fully equipped to buy your Oregon fishing license and start reeling in your catch of the day!

Who Needs an Oregon Fishing License?

Before diving into the details of how to get your license, let’s clarify who actually needs one:

  • All anglers age 18 and older, both residents and non-residents, must purchase a valid Oregon fishing license to fish in the state’s waters. This applies whether fishing independently or on a guided charter.
  • Youth ages 12-17 need a Youth License, which costs $10 and includes privileges for fishing, hunting, shellfishing, and the Columbia River Basin Endorsement.
  • Children under 12 do not need a license to fish, but must be accompanied by a licensed adult.
  • Certain groups like seniors, veterans, and the disabled may be eligible for special discounted licenses, which we’ll cover in more detail later.

So unless you’re under 12, you’ll need to secure a license before wetting your line in Oregon. No exceptions!

Types of Oregon Fishing Licenses

Oregon offers an array of fishing license options tailored to different needs and budgets:

Annual Licenses

  • Resident Annual Angling License: $44
  • Non-Resident Annual Angling License: $110.50

These licenses are valid for the entire calendar year and are the most cost-effective option if you plan to fish regularly. Oregon residents are defined as individuals who have resided in the state for at least 6 consecutive months immediately prior to purchasing a license.

Short-Term Licenses

  • Daily Angling License (Resident & Non-Resident): $23
  • Two-Day Angling License (Resident & Non-Resident): $42
  • Three-Day Angling License (Resident & Non-Resident): $59.50
  • Seven-Day Angling License (Non-Resident only): $93.50

Short-term licenses are perfect for weekend trips or visiting anglers. Residents and non-residents pay the same fees for these.

Combination Licenses

  • Sports Pac (Resident only): $196.50 – Includes fishing, hunting, shellfish licenses, Columbia River Basin Endorsement, and tags for various game species.
  • Combined Angling Tag (Resident): $46, (Non-Resident): $66 – Required for fishing salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and halibut.

Combo licenses bundle multiple privileges together for avid outdoorsmen and women. The Combined Angling Tag is an add-on required for everyone, regardless of age, to fish for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and halibut.

Special Licenses

  • Senior Angling License (Resident, age 70+): $29
  • Pioneer Combination License (Resident, age 65+ and 50-year resident): $6
  • Disabled Veteran Combination License (Resident): FREE
  • Uniformed Services Angling License (Non-Resident): $44

Oregon offers special rates for seniors, pioneers, disabled vets, and active military. Some even include extra perks! Check the ODFW website for full details on eligibility.

How to Buy an Oregon Fishing License Online

Purchasing your Oregon fishing license online is quick, convenient, and can be done anytime from anywhere:

  1. Visit the secure ODFW Electronic Licensing System and click “Buy License”.
  2. Log into your existing ODFW account or create a new one. You’ll need to provide your Social Security Number.
  3. Once logged in, select “Purchase from the Catalog”, then choose “Fishing Licenses”.
  4. Select the license type you need and add it to your cart. Don’t forget to add any additional endorsements or validations you might want, like the Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Combined Angling Tag.
  5. Proceed to checkout, verify your contact info, and enter payment details.
  6. After completing your purchase, you can choose to print a paper copy of your license documents or download a digital version to your smartphone using the MyODFW app.

That’s it! The whole process only takes a few minutes. Just make sure you have your license with you whenever you’re fishing, whether it’s a physical copy or digital version on your phone.

Buying a License In-Person

If you prefer a face-to-face interaction or need assistance, you can also purchase a fishing license in-person from:

  • ODFW offices – Find the nearest location on the ODFW website.
  • Licensed vendors like sporting goods stores, bait shops, and marinas. Many Walmart stores also sell them.

Be prepared with a valid photo ID and proof of residency if applying for a resident license. Acceptable documents include a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or utility bills.

Additional Endorsements and Validations

Depending on where and what you plan to fish for, you may need to purchase additional endorsements or validations along with your fishing license:

  • Columbia River Basin Endorsement: $9.75 with angling license, $11.75 separately – Required for salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon fishing in the Columbia River and its tributaries.
  • Two-Rod Validation: $28 – Allows you to fish with two rods in many lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.
  • Hatchery Harvest Card: $33 – Allows you to harvest additional hatchery-reared salmon and steelhead.

These can be added to your purchase when buying a license online or in-person. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for more details on when and where these apply.

Conclusion

Congratulations, you’re now fully equipped with the knowledge to legally fish in Oregon! By purchasing your fishing license, you’re not only gaining access to world-class angling opportunities, but also directly supporting critical conservation efforts to keep fish populations thriving for generations to come.

Remember, getting your Oregon fishing license is easy, affordable, and opens up a world of possibilities on the water. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, make sure you have a valid license before casting your line.

To learn more about fishing seasons, bag limits, and other regulations, check out the Oregon Sport Fishing e-Regulations or download the Oregon Fishing Guide App.

Now get out there, have fun, and tight lines! And don’t forget to share your fishing adventures with us using #MyODFW.

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