Fishing in Oregon is more than just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle for many. With a wealth of fishing spots, from the abundant lakes and rivers to the picturesque coastlines, Oregon is a paradise for anglers. But before you can cast your line into these waters, you need a valid fishing license. Thanks to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW), getting your fishing license is now a breeze with their online licensing system. This article will walk you through the process of obtaining your Oregon fishing license online, making it as easy as pie, convenient, and hassle-free.
Who Needs A Fishing License In Oregon
In Oregon, if you’re 18 or older and have a penchant for angling, you’ll need to purchase a fishing license, along with the appropriate tags and endorsements. Kiddos under 12 years old can fish or shellfish without a license—lucky them! Young anglers aged 12-17 will need a $10 Youth License, which includes fishing, hunting, shellfishing licenses, and the Columbia River Basin Endorsement. If you’re a seasoned angler, you might be eligible for a Pioneer or Senior license. And let’s not forget our veterans and active members of the armed services—they may also be eligible for license benefits.
Types Of Licenses, Tags, And Endorsements
There’s a smorgasbord of licenses, tags, and endorsements available for purchase:
- Annual Angling License: This is your standard fishing license that lets you fish for a variety of species throughout the state.
- Columbia River Basin Endorsement: You’ll need this if you plan to fish for salmon or steelhead within the Columbia Basin.
- Combined Angling Tag: This is required to legally fish (including catch-and-release) for salmon, steelhead, and/or sturgeon.
- Two Rod Validation: This lets you fish most lakes, ponds, and reservoirs with two rods at the same time—double the fun!
- Hatchery Harvest Card: This allows additional harvest of hatchery salmon and steelhead.
Step-By-Step Guide To Buying A License Online
Getting your Oregon fishing license online is as easy as 1-2-3. Here’s how you do it:
- Head over to the ODFW electronic licensing system on the MyODFW.com website and click on the green “Buy a license” button.
- If you haven’t already, verify/create an account. If you’ve had a fishing/shellfish/hunting license, have preference points, any other certifications (such as disabilities permit), or have purchased an annual license since 2016 – you already have an online profile. If you’re new to the Oregon hunting/shellfish/fishing scene, or haven’t purchased a license since 2016, you’ll need to create a new account. You can purchase daily paper fishing licenses and Waterway Access Permits without creating an account. Just select “Guest checkout” on the login screen and be ready to print your license. (Electronic daily licenses are available but require opening an account.)
- Once logged in, select “Purchase from the catalog.”
- Select “Fishing” from the list of available categories.
- Select the licenses and other documents you want to “Add to cart.” Other documents to consider in addition to a fishing license are the Columbia River Basin Endorsement, Combined Angling Tag, Two Rod Validation, and Hatchery Harvest Card.
- Proceed to checkout.
- Check out. Verify your Social Security number. If you receive an error message saying you must verify your Social Security number, chances are good you’ve accidentally created a duplicate account. Meaning you already had an ODFW account without realizing it, and tried to create a new account instead of verifying your existing account. Happens all the time. The bad news: You must contact ODFW.firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that your accounts be merged. This can only be completed Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The good news: You can use “Guest Checkout” to purchase/print a daily license if you’re going fishing immediately and it’s outside of normal business hours. Then contact the ODFW licensing staff about purchasing annual documents.
- Selecting paper or electronic. During the check-out process, you will be asked if you’d like to print a paper copy of your documents or download an electronic version onto your smartphone using the MyODFW app. You also will indicate if you want to tag salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon electronically or using a paper angling tag or harvest card. You can print paper copies of your documents on your home computer. You can’t reduce the size of documents before you print it, but you can trim excess blank paper to make it easier to fold them into a manageable size. If necessary, you can print multiple copies of your license, but only one copy of your Combined Angling Tag or Hatchery Harvest Card. If you choose to carry your license and other documents on your smartphone, you’ll need to download the MyODFW app from the Google Play or iPhone App store. Log into the app using the same username and password you created in the licensing system.
Buying A License For Others
You can buy a license for someone else online, but they need to have their own online account. They also must have their own smartphone if you select an electronic option for them. (You cannot carry their electronic license for them on your smartphone.) Otherwise, you can print a paper copy of their documents for them to carry.
Alternative Ways To Buy A License
While getting your fishing license online is the most convenient option, you can still head to an ODFW office that sells licenses or an ODFW license vendor to buy your license and other documents.
Getting your Oregon fishing license online is a piece of cake. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily purchase your license, tags, and endorsements from the comfort of your home. Remember to carry your license and other documents with you whenever you go fishing, and always follow the fishing regulations in your area. Happy fishing!