Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Curt Melcher, Director
Salem Headquarters Office
4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE
Salem, OR 97302
ODFW in-state toll-free 800-720-6339
Oregon Fish and
Mary Wahl (Chair)Langlois
Dr. Leslie KingPortland
Avenue = Ave
Creek = Cr
Drive = Dr
Feet = ft
Highway = Hwy
Junction = Jct
Lane = Ln
Milepost = MP
Miles = mi
Mountain = Mt
Page = pg
Point = Pt
Railroad = RR
Rivermile = RM
Road = Rd
Street = St
How to Use This Guide
- Read the general statewide regulations for information about license and tag requirements, catch and possession limits, gear and bait restrictions, harvest methods, and legal angling hours.
- Read the zone regulations for where you will be angling and check for exceptions by water body. If a water body or a section of a water body is not listed in exceptions, zone regulations apply.
- Emergency or temporary rules may be adopted after these rules are printed, and they will supersede these regulations. Anglers are responsible for knowing current regulations. Anglers may call ODFW Headquarters or field offices at the numbers shown on the table of contents page, or check ODFW’s website
myodfw.com for sport fishing regulations updates.
Freshwater Angling Ethics
Enjoying angling in Oregon’s waters brings with it some responsibilities. To ensure viable fish populations and continued fishing opportunities, all Oregonians are encouraged to make a personal commitment to the care of the state’s fish and their habitats. Positive voluntary efforts can reduce the necessity for future mandatory regulations.
Here are some guidelines to consider when pledging a personal code of ethics, one that reflects your values and your respect for Oregon’s natural places:
- Know and follow all state angling rules and regulations. Visit ODFW’s website at:
- Protect Oregon’s waters from pollutants and waste. Dispose of all trash, including fishing line and tackle, at collection stations or disposal sites.
- Ask first! Do not trespass on private land.
- Be courteous to other anglers, boaters, hikers and campers.
- Remember that warm water conditions can stress salmon, steelhead and trout. Seek cooler waters during summer months, especially early in the day.
- Clean angling equipment and boats. Disinfect wading boots to prevent the spread of aquatic “hitchhikers.”
- Report angling violations to the Oregon State Police at: 1-800-452-7888.
- Avoid actively spawning fish.
- Teach future generations how to enjoy and conserve Oregon’s fish and their habitats.
- Use barbless hooks so you can easily release your catch. Use pliers to pinch down barbs.
- Use tackle strong enough to bring your fish in quickly and gently.
- Land fish as carefully as possible.
- Avoid removing fish from the water, but if you must, use a cotton or rubber net — not nylon.
- Keep your hands wet when handling fish.
- If taking a photo, cradle the fish at water level and quickly take the picture.
- Remove the hook quickly and gently while keeping the fish under water.
- Use long-nosed pliers or hemostats to back out the hook.
- If a fish is hooked deeply, cut the line near the hook, which will dissolve.
- Point the fish into a slow current or move it back and forth until its gills are working and it maintains its balance on its own. Be patient!
- When possible, let it swim out of your hands.
Is Your Paddlecraft 10 Feet or Longer?
You need a Waterway Access Permit! (Replaces the Aquatic Invasive Species permit)
- One permit per non-motorized boat while in use. Permits are transferrable.
- Required for all non-motorized boats (inc. drift, rafts, SUPs, inflatables, etc.) 10 feet or longer.
- $5 weekly (valid for 7-days from the date of purchase), $17 annual, $30 two-year (plus $2 ODFW agent fee). Two year permit is valid from date of purchase in the current year to the end of the following year.
- Purchase where hunting/fishing licenses are sold, ODFW’s e-Licensing System or the Oregon Marine Board website’s online store at
- The Waterway Access Permit revenue helps fund paddling access and inspection stations.
Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit:
- Non-resident trailered motorboats are required to purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species Permit, regardless of boat size ($20 permit plus $2 agent fee, valid for one calendar year).
ALL BOATS, regardless of propulsion, are required to stop at invasive species inspection stations when stations are open. Failure to stop could result in a $110 fine. All boats are also required to “pull the plug” to allow water compartments to drain during transit.
The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program was established by the Oregon Legislature in an effort to keep Oregon’s lakes, rivers and streams free of destructive species like quagga mussels.
Removing Sodium Sulfite from Cured Eggs
Cured fish eggs have been a popular salmon and steelhead bait for decades. However, a recent study by ODFW and OSU has shown that a common ingredient in some cures — sodium sulfite — can be toxic at some levels when consumed by juvenile salmon and steelhead.
Thanks to the work of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association and the egg cure manufacturers, guidelines have been developed for cured egg recipes that reduce sodium sulfites to levels that are much safer for juvenile fish. Many manufacturers are now selling these new formulations.
If you’re making your own cure, we urge you to avoid using sodium sulfite. Borax is a good alternative that does not appear to cause mortality in juvenile salmon.
If you’re buying commercially cured eggs:
- choose products that are labeled Meets Oregon Guidelines and carefully follow label instructions
- don’t add additional sodium sulfite to already cured eggs
- don’t dump unused eggs in the river where they can be eaten by juvenile fish
- consider the use of net bags to reduce the likelihood of juvenile salmon consuming the eggs.
The effect of sodium sulfite on salmon and steelhead populations has not been determined. However, reducing sodium sulfite from cured eggs is a small step that individual anglers can take to help reduce salmon and steelhead smolt mortality.
For more information and a complete list of certified products that meet Oregon guidelines go to
Seeking Volunteers With Rv’s To Host For Odfw
Do you have a RV and are interested in fish and wildlife? We may have the volunteer opportunity you have been looking for.
ODFW has 45 sites at fish hatcheries, wildlife areas and district offices throughout the state. Volunteers can choose to help protect and enhance fish and wildlife in unique locations along the coast, in the mountain ranges and valleys, or on the high desert.
No two sites are the same and duties may vary for location and season. Here is a sampling of the duties:
- Landscaping, gardening and grounds maintenance
- Fish culture – spawning, feeding, releasing fish
- Carpentry, painting and other maintenance projects
- Clerical work – computer data entry, filing and phones
- Farming to benefit wildlife, assisting at check stations
- Public outreach – greeting visitors, leading tours
- Placing nest boxes, banding ducks and geese
- Assisting disabled anglers, helping with public events
Apply today and help us protect and enhance Oregon's fish, wildlife, and their habitats.
For information and application visit:
Donna Schultz, Volunteer Host Coordinator
Lead Fishing Tackle: The Health Risks May Be Heavier Than You Think
What are the risks?
Lead is toxic to both children and adults, and can affect almost every organ and system in your body. You can be exposed to lead or lead fumes while making your own fishing weights, or by inappropriately handling pre-made weights.
Tips for anglers
Children are especially vulnerable, but adults should take precautions as well.
- Use non-lead fishing weights where possible.
- Never throw old fishing gear into the water or discard along shore.
- Don’t put split shot in your mouth or bite down on split shot —use pliers.
- Wash hands thoroughly after handling lead sinkers or cleaning out your tackle box.
- Take special precautions when making lead sinkers or jigs.
- Spread the word. Encourage other anglers to switch to lead free sinkers and jigs. Talk with your favorite retailer and ask them to stock non-lead fishing tackle.
- If you’re making your own fishing weights, never melt lead inside your home, always work in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator mask, and be sure to wash your body and clothes after working with lead.
Non-lead fishing tackle is not just a novelty product. There are several alternative materials available — tin, steel, bismuth, brass and tungsten. Ask for it at retailers and stores. Or search the internet for on-line sources.
Fishing lead and the environment
While the impact of lead hunting ammunition on the environment and wildlife has been documented, the impact of lead tackle on fish or fish predators is less clear. However, lead is toxic to almost all organisms and has no biological benefit in any amount. So a cautious approach is to Get the Lead Out.
To learn more about the impact of lead exposure on human health go to:
Salmon Trout Enhancement Program (STEP)
STEP was established in 1981 to support the role of volunteers in restoring native stocks of salmon and trout. Volunteer efforts are supported by 11 local STEP biologists, the Governor appointed Salmon Trout Advisory Committee (STAC), and a STAC Mini-Grant Program.
As a STEP volunteer you can:
- Improve and restore fish habitat.
- Educate fellow Oregonians about salmon and trout.
- Assist with research and monitoring.
- Help spawn, raise, rear, and release fish from a STEP hatchery.
To learn more or become a STEP volunteer, visit