How to Get Your Fishing License in Oregon?

Fishing is a popular outdoor recreational activity in Oregon, with abundant opportunities across the state’s lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Before casting your line, it’s essential to acquire the proper fishing license and permits based on your residency status and planned fishing activities. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to legally fish in Oregon.

Who Needs an Oregon Fishing License

All anglers over 12 years old, both residents and non-residents, need a fishing license to fish in Oregon. Licenses are managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Children under 12 can fish for free but must follow all other regulations.

Types of Fishing Licenses and Permits

Oregon offers several license and permit options based on residency, age, intended use, and duration.

Oregon Resident Licenses

Oregon residents need a full-year license covering January 1st through December 31st each year.

  • Annual License – $44: Covers all fishing except salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and halibut. Valid for calendar year.
  • Columbia River Basin Endorsement – $9.75: Required for all anglers targeting salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in Columbia River and tributaries.
  • Combined Angling Tag: Needed for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and halibut. Each tag costs $21.50.
  • Hatchery Harvest Card – $2.50 per card: Allows harvest of extra hatchery salmon or steelhead when quotas allow.

Non-Resident Licenses

Non-residents have to choose between full-year or temporary short-term licenses based on days fished.

  • Annual License – $110.50: Covers all fishing except salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and halibut. Valid for calendar year.
  • 1-Day License – $18: Valid for 24 hour period.
  • 2-Day License – $28: Valid for 48 hour period.
  • Columbia River Basin Endorsement – $12.50: Required for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon.
  • Combined Angling Tags – $21.50 per tag: Needed for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut.

Junior Angler Licenses

Junior angler licenses are discounted for resident anglers between 12-17 years old or non-residents 12-14.

  • Annual Resident Junior (12-17 years) – $10
  • Short-term Non-resident Junior (12-14 years) – $10

Juniors only need Columbia River endorsement or tags if fishing for those species.

Where to Buy an Oregon Fishing License

You can purchase Oregon fishing licenses, endorsements, and tags through multiple locations:

  • ODFW Website: Buy all license products online. Can have mailed or use electronic version on phone.
  • ODFW Offices: Available for purchase at any ODFW office statewide.
  • License Sales Agents: Many license agents like sporting goods stores, large retailers, county clerks and independent agents sell licenses. Locations searchable online.
  • Walmart Stores: Can buy annual resident fishing licenses, tags, and endorsements at Walmart stores in Oregon.

When purchasing online or from a license agent, you will need:

  • Date of birth
  • Physical description
  • Hunter education number if required
  • Social security number for licenses that require ID.

Payment can be made via debit/credit card or cash. Be sure to carry your license documents on you when fishing as you must show license to officer when asked.

When to Buy Your Oregon Fishing License

Oregon resident licenses are valid for the entire calendar year from January 1st to December 31st while non-resident licenses cover set number of days purchased.

You can purchase next year’s licenses starting December 1st so they are valid as soon as current year’s license expires. Buying in December ensures you are set to fish starting January 1st.

For non-residents visiting mid-year, buy licenses shortly before intended fishing dates. Just don’t wait until the last minute!

Fishing Regulation Guide

In addition to proper licensing, anglers must educate themselves on fishing regulations for intended locations and species.

Regulations cover size limits, bag limits, restricted areas, harvest methods, and seasonal guidelines. These help manage healthy fish populations and ensure ethical practices.

Upon purchasing your license, you will receive a regulation guide. Additional copies are available online hereCarefully review all relevant regulations before fishing!

Some useful resources:

Penalties for Fishing Without License

All anglers fishing in Oregon must carry license documents on them when fishing. You must show your license to enforcement officers when asked.

Fishing without a required license, endorsement or tag comes with fines up to $435.

Having an expired license or fishing outside your license provisions (residency, species, area) also risk citations around $300.

Don’t take the risk! Purchase proper licenses ahead of time and follow all regulations.

Fishing License Renewals

Oregon resident license holders can renew their licenses starting December 1st before the year ends. This ensures no lapse in coverage between years.

Review new regulation guides and purchase any extra endorsements or tags needed for upcoming year. Consider trying for different species or new areas!

Key Things to Remember

  • All anglers over 12 need fishing licenses in Oregon
  • Resident licenses cover calendar year, non-resident temporary
  • Extra endorsements and tags required for salmon, steelhead etc.
  • Buy online, at ODFW offices, select vendors
  • Know and follow all fishing regulations
  • Renew licenses by December 1st to avoid lapses

Stay up to date with regulation changes by signing up for ODFW email newsletter.

Now get out there and catch some fish! But don’t forget to purchase your Oregon fishing license first.

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