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Celebrate the New Year with free fishing and crabbing

SALEM – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to make it easy for anglers to kick off the fishing new year with a free fishing weekend on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, fishing, crabbing and clamming in Oregon will be free. That means no licenses, tags or endorsements are needed on those days. (Though all other fishing regulations apply.)

While many might not think of fishing in December and January, Oregon offers some great opportunities during the winter months:

Recreational crabbing is now open along the entire Oregon Coast.
The winter steelhead season is heating up.
Some lower elevation lakes and ponds were stocked with trout as late as this month.

“Spending a day outside with the family, enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty, is a great way to spend a day together no matter what time of year,” said Richard Hargrave, ODFW spokesperson.

There are some special considerations when heading outdoors during the winter months, Hargrave added. “Check water conditions and the weather forecast before heading out; dress for the conditions, and be leery of high water levels and surf.”

For more ideas about opportunities near you, check out ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report.

Additional free fishing weekends were authorized by the 2015 Oregon State Legislature as a way of introducing new anglers to the sport.