Oregon Fishing License Cost with Salmon Tag: Everything You Need to Know

Oregon Fishing License Cost with Salmon Tag: Everything You Need to Know

Fishing is an iconic pastime in Oregon, with abundant rivers, lakes and coastal waters offering anglers bountiful opportunities to reel in trophy salmon, steelhead, trout and more. But before casting your line, it’s essential to ensure you have the proper licenses and permits. This guide will provide everything you need to know about Oregon fishing regulations to keep you compliant and on the right side of the law.

Why You Need A License & Tags

Recreational fishing in Oregon requires most anglers to obtain fishing licenses, tags, endorsements and permits. But why?

Conservation: The fees from licenses, tags and permits provide vital funding that allows the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) to sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations through conservation programs. By purchasing your license, you directly contribute to preserving Oregon’s natural bounty.

Legality: Fishing without the proper permits in Oregon carries heavy penalties. You could face fines up to $$6,250 or 6 months imprisonment, in addition to suspension of fishing privileges. Don’t take the risk!

Informed Management: The data collected from licensed anglers helps ODFW make smart management decisions by tracking catch rates, species populations, and fishing pressures. This ensures regulations balance conservation needs with great fishing opportunities.

Resident vs Non-Resident Licenses

The cost and regulations for Oregon fishing varies considerably depending on your residency status.

Oregon Residents

To qualify as an Oregon resident, you must have lived in the state for at least six consecutive months prior to purchasing a license. Licenses for qualifying Oregon residents are offered at reduced rates.


Non-residents pay higher license fees, but still enjoy excellent fishing opportunities across Oregon. Those from bordering states like Washington, California, Idaho and Nevada can also choose more affordable regional licenses that unlock reciprocity.

Types of Licenses & Permits

Oregon offers a variety of license and permit options tailored to different anglers’ needs and fishing plans.

Annual Licenses

  • Annual Angling License – $44.00 residents / $110.50 non-residents

    The basic license required for all adult anglers over 18 years old. It authorizes fishing for most common game fish including bass, trout and panfish.

  • Adult Combined Angling Tag – $46.00 residents / $66.00 non-residents

    Required in addition to an Annual License if targeting salmon, steelhead, Pacific halibut or sturgeon.

  • Columbia River Basin Endorsement – $9.75 with license / $11.75 stand-alone

    Mandatory for all anglers fishing the Columbia River Basin, which encompasses popular fisheries like the Deschutes, John Day and Umatilla rivers.

Short-Term Licenses

Several short-term license options are available for visitors or occasional anglers:

  • 1-day angling license
  • 3-day angling license
  • 10-day angling license

Costs range from $18.00 to $43.00 depending on residency status and duration.

Youth & Senior Discounts

Special discounted licenses cater to younger and older anglers:

  • Youth license (ages 12-17) – $10.00
  • Senior license (ages 70+) – $24.00 resident / $55.00 non-resident
  • Pioneer license (ages 65+ and Oregon resident for 50 years) – $7.00

Hatchery Salmon & Steelhead

Anglers pursuing hatchery salmon or steelhead also need a $33.00 Harvest Card in conjunction with their fishing license. This helps fund operation of hatcheries releasing these sea-run fish.

How & Where To Get Licenses & Tags

You can purchase Oregon fishing licenses, endorsements and tags from several sources:

Online – The ODFW Website provides 24/7 license sales online. Create an account to store your licenses digitally.

In-Person – Over 600 independent license agents offer licenses across Oregon, including bait & tackle shops, convenience stores, big box retailers and more.

By Phone – Call ODFW licensing at 503-947-6101 to purchase licenses over the phone.

When you receive your license, review it carefully to verify all necessary endorsements, validations and tags are included with the license package depending on your planned fishing activities. Carry it with you at all times when fishing as you must produce it immediately when asked by enforcement officials.

Other Permits That May Apply

Depending on exactly where and how you plan to fish, additional permits may be mandatory:

Always thoroughly research the regulations for the specific body of water where you’ll be fishing to know if any additional permits are needed.

Penalties for Fishing Without a License

Enforcement of Oregon’s fishing laws is taken very seriously. Anglers found fishing without the proper licenses, endorsements and tags for the water body and species targeted face the following penalties:

  • Up to $$6,250 in fines
  • Up to 6 months jail time
  • Seizure of all equipment including rods, reels, tackle and even boats
  • Loss of future fishing privileges

Why risk heavy fines and impacting your angling opportunities when getting properly licensed is simple and affordable?

How Your License Fees Help

While mandatory Oregon fishing licenses, endorsements, tags and permits may seem like an inconvenience and expense, they serve a vital purpose in protecting the exceptional fishing opportunities the state offers.

Your license dollars allow ODFW to:

  • Operate hatcheries releasing over 40 million fish annually
  • Enforce regulations, protecting fish populations and lawful anglers’ interests
  • Maintain boat ramps, fishing piers and access sites
  • Fund research to improve management of fisheries
  • Restore crucial fish habitats

So when you purchase your license, view it as an investment towards preserving Oregon’s fisheries and your privilege to access them!

Do I Need A License To Fish From Shore?

While all anglers fishing from boats need licenses, shore fishing regulations have exceptions in some cases.

No fishing license is required when:

  • Bank fishing on the Oregon side of the Columbia River
  • Fishing from publicly owned ocean jetties like at popular places such as Newport or Garibaldi

However, standard regulations and licensing rules apply when shore fishing anywhere else in Oregon. Additionally, even jetty and Columbia River bank anglers need to comply with all other regulations such as size limits, bag limits and seasonal restrictions. Don’t be misled that fishing license requirements are waived entirely.

Final Thoughts

Fishing Oregon’s spectacular rivers, lakes and coastal waters offers outstanding opportunities to catch trophy salmon, steelhead, bass, trout and more. But before casting off, be sure to acquire all required licenses, endorsements and permits.

Use this guide to understand Oregon’s recreational fishing regulations for both residents and visitors. Getting properly licensed is vital for upholding conservation efforts, supporting fisheries management, and avoiding stiff penalties.

With the right licenses in hand, you’ll be set to experience world-class angling adventures across the Beaver State while staying on the right side of the law!

Similar Posts