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  • Adipose fin: Small fatty fin located between the dorsal fin and the tail on some fish species (see Chinook & Coho Salmon Identification).
  • Aggregate: The total number of fish or shellfish in a bag limit. Generally used where several species make up a combined bag limit, or where a single species bag limit is set for the combined harvest from a specified group of water bodies.
  • Angling: To take or attempt to take fish for personal use using a hook and line. Also known as fishing.
  • Artificial fly: A fly is a hook, dressed with conventional natural or synthetic fly tying materials. Tied in conjunction with other materials, wire (lead or other) used to weight the fly and dumbbell eyes or beads (metal, glass or plastic) may be part of the fly. A fly does not include sinkers, molded weights, spinners, spoons or similar attractors.
  • Attractor: A hookless device attached to a fishing line between the end of the rod and the primary lure, fly or baited hook that provides additional motion or other visual attraction. Typical attractors include dodgers, lake trolls such as Ford fenders, willow leaf, or cowbell flashers, and spreader bars with any number of hoochies, artificial rubber or molded plastic (soft or hard) attractors.
  • Bait: Any item used to attract fish that is not an artificial fly, lure or attractor. Molded soft plastic or rubber imitations of worms, eggs, insects, bait fish, crayfish, etc. are considered baits. Scent is not considered bait.
  • Bank angling: Fishing from shore or from docks physically attached to the shore. Generally includes wading. Fishing from a boat is not considered bank fishing even if the boat is attached to the shore, a dock or other fixed structure.
  • Barbless hook: A hook manufactured without barbs or a hook with the point barb removed or bent down to the hook shank.
  • Bass: Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. Does not include striped bass or hybrid bass.
  • Bobber: A hookless, floating device attached to or sliding along the mainline or leader above the bait, lure or artificial fly. It is designed to suspend the bait, lure or artificial fly and signal on the surface of the water a fish’s strike at the hook(s).
  • Carcass: The entrails, gills, head, skin, fins and backbone of a fish.
  • Chumming: Putting any substance, not attached to the hook, in the water to attract fish.
  • Fish length: Except Pacific halibut and sturgeon, fish length is the shortest distance measured in a straight line between the tip of the tail and the tip of the snout. Fish should be measured while lying on its side, on a flat surface and with its tail in the normal position (see sketch, General Statewide Regulations). Pacific halibut are measured in a straight line from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth closed to the extreme end of the middle of the tail (see sketch, General Statewide Regulations). The fork length of a sturgeon is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail, with the fish laying on its side, on a flat surface (see sketch, General Statewide Regulations).
  • Fly-fishing: Fishing with a fly rod and fly line combination with an artificial fly. Does not include the use of spinning, spincast, casting rods and reels and lead core lines.
  • Game fish: Trout, salmon, steelhead, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, other sunfish, catfish, walleye, yellow perch, hybrid bass, whitefish, striped bass, sturgeon and shad when taken with a hook and line.
  • Groundfish group: Lingcod, rockfish, greenling, cabezon, skates; leopard, spiny dogfish, and soupfin sharks; flatfish other than Pacific halibut, and all other marine fish not listed on Marine Zone.
  • Hatchery fish: For the purpose of these regulations, a hatchery fish is defined as a salmon, steelhead or trout from which the adipose fin or other fin has been removed (clipped) leaving a healed scar.
  • Herring jig: A line or leader with any number of single-point hooks no larger than 3/8-inch hook gap. Typically used to catch species such as herring, sardine and anchovy.
  • Hook gap: Distance, measured in a straight line, between the hook point and shank.
  • Ice Fishing: taking or attempting to take a fish for personal use with hook and line through a human-made hole cut through the ice.
  • Immediate family: A landowner’s spouse, domestic partner, father, mother, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, stepchildren, and grandchildren who reside on the landowner’s property.
  • In the field, forest or transit: Anywhere other than a permanent residence.
  • Lake: The slack-water portion of all lakes, ponds, and reservoirs; excludes beaver ponds and tide-gate sloughs.
  • Leader: A section of line extending from the lowermost hook to the first swivel, weight, bobber or other attachment.
  • Lure: An artificial device, complete with hooks, intended to attract and entice fish; excludes artificial flies or attractors. Corkies, spin-n-glos, birdy drifters, leadhead jigs, hard plastic beads, etc. are considered lures. Molded soft plastic or rubber imitations of worms, eggs, insects, bait fish, crayfish, etc. are considered baits.
  • Metal core line: Line that when bent sharply remains bent once released.
  • Nongame fish: Fish not otherwise defined as game fish.
  • Offshore pelagic species: Includes opah, Pacific pomfret, all species of tuna and mackerel, swordfish, billfish, jacks and all sharks, except leopard shark, spiny dogfish and soupfin shark (are classified as groundfish).
  • Permanent residence: A dwelling where a person normally lives, and verified by an address, phone number, utility account, etc.
  • Resident: is any person who has; (a) has physically resided in Oregon for not less than six consecutive months immediately prior to the date of making application for a license, tag, or permit; (b) Members of the uniformed services of the United States who: (i) Are permanently assigned to active duty in this state, and their spouse and dependent children, (ii) Reside in this state while assigned to duty at any base, station, shore establishment or other facility in this state, (iii) Reside in this state while serving as members of the crew of a ship that has an Oregon port or shore establishment as its home port or permanent station. (c) Aliens attending school in Oregon under a foreign student exchange program. (d) except for persons who qualify as a resident in (b) or (c), a “Resident” does not include a person who merely owns real property or pays property taxes in this state, or who claims resident privileges in another state or country for any purpose.
  • Rockfish: All species of the family Scorpaenidae which includes Sebastes and Sebastolobus that occur in Oregon.
  • Salmon: Includes five species: coho, Chinook, chum, pink and sockeye.
  • Salmon, jack: Not a separate species of salmon but a life-history stage that return to freshwater and become sexually mature after only a short time in the ocean.
  • Shellfish: Abalone, clams, crabs, crayfish, mussels, oysters, piddocks, scallops, shrimp and other marine invertebrates with shells.
  • Snagging: Take or attempting to take a fish with a hook and line by hooking the fish anywhere other than in the mouth or in a way that does not entice the fish to voluntarily take the hook inside it’s mouth, includes flossing. Game fish hooked anywhere other than inside the mouth must be immediately released unharmed.
  • Steelhead: A sea-run rainbow trout.
  • Stream: The free-flowing portion of all rivers and creeks, including beaver ponds and tide-gate sloughs.
  • Strike indicator: A hookless, unscented floating device attached to a line or leader to signal a strike at the fly. Must be attached at least 18 inches from the fly. Strike indicators are not considered an “attachment” or “attractor” and are permitted in fly-fishing only waters.
  • Take: To kill, reduce to possession or control, or attempt to possess and control. Includes catch-and-release angling.
  • Tide-gate slough: The portion of a stream that is controlled by a tide gate so that it is still when the gate is closed and flowing when the gate is open.
  • Tidewaters: Stream or estuary waters affected by daily ebb and flow of tides.
  • Tributary: A stream flowing into a larger stream or lake.
  • Trout: All rainbow/redband (except steelhead), cutthroat, brook, brown, bull, golden, lake and tiger trout; Atlantic salmon and kokanee. Check exceptions and zone regulations for waters where Chinook salmon and/or coho salmon (landlocked) may be considered trout.
  • Wild Fish: For the purpose of these regulations, a wild fish is a salmon, steelhead or trout with no fin clips — adipose or other. This term is used for regulation simplification purposes only, and in some cases encompasses unclipped hatchery fish and non-native fish (refer to OAR 635-007-0501(69) for the legal definition of “wild fish”).

Regulations May Change

Visit the ODFW website at for up-to-date information about fishing and regulations changes. You will also find a weekly recreation report, tips on how and where to fish and much more.