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Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Full Service Offices


61374 Parrell Rd
Bend, OR 97702


2040 SE Marine Science Dr.
Newport, OR 97365


107 20th Street

La Grande, OR 97850



17330 SE Evelyn Street

Clackamas, OR 97015



4192 N Umpqua Hwy

Roseburg, OR 97470


Curt Melcher, Director

Salem Headquarters Office

4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE

Salem, OR 97302


ODFW in-state toll-free 800-720-6339

[email protected]

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission

Mary Wahl (Chair) - Langlois

Becky Hatfield-Hyde - Paisley

Kathayoon Khalil - Portland

Mark Labhart - Sisters

Robert Spelbrink - Siletz

Dr. Leslie King - Portland

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.


Using Tackle:

  • 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.

Removing Hooks:

  • 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.

Reviving Fish:

  • 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.

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.

Volunteer today!

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, contact your local ODFW office, or call 503-947-6232.

Stop the Spread of Invasive Northern Pike - Photos and Information

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.

See for more information.

Fish Restoration and Enhancement (R&E) Program

The R&E Program is funded by anglers through a surcharge on fishing licenses. R&E grants are awarded to organizations and agencies for projects that benefit Oregon’s fisheries and improve fishing opportunities.

R&E projects benefit a diversity of anglers around the state through improvements to angler access (fishing docks and piers), fish habitat and passage, angler and aquatic education and the collection of information for sound fishery management.

If your organization/agency is interested in applying for R&E funding, call 503-947-6232 or visit the website:

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.

Lead-free alternatives

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: