A Guide to Getting Your Oregon Fishing License
Jul 14, 2021 | 7 minute read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

A fishing adventure in the “Beaver State” can mean many different things. As well as 360 miles of Pacific coastline, there are plenty of freshwater fishing grounds to discover. The Columbia River winds its way through this state, for one! Whatever you’re looking for in your angling adventure, chances are you’ll find it here. Before you cast a line, though, you’ll need to get yourself an Oregon fishing license.

An image of the Oregon state flag with blue sky behind it

Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about fishing in Oregon, starting with who needs a license, what’s the difference between resident and non-resident licenses, available discounts, and where to purchase your license. Let’s dive in…

Looking for info on neighboring states, or around the US in general? Check out our full list of licensing guides here.

Who needs a fishing license in Oregon?

Protecting and conserving local recreational fishing opportunities is taken very seriously in Oregon. You’ll notice that the licenses on offer reflect this! Any money that’s earned from license purchases goes toward fishery management, habitat development, endangered species programs, and conservation education.

Because of this, any angler age 12 or above needs a valid license to fish in Oregon. This is the same whether you’re fishing alone or on a charter, and goes for both residents and non-residents. However, the type of license you’ll need (as well as the cost!) differs depending on your residential status, age, and how long you’d like the license to be valid for.

Information for Residents

You’re considered a resident of Oregon if you:

  • Are domiciled in this state. Basically, your domicile is the place you consider your home. It’s usually your permanent and legal residence.
  • Have been residing in this state for six consecutive months or longer, immediately prior to applying for a license, permit, or tag. 
  • Are a member of the uniformed services who has been permanently assigned to active duty in this state, or a child or spouse of a member.
  • Reside in this state while assigned to duty at any base, station, shore establishment, or other facility in this state.
  • Reside in this state while serving as a crew member of a ship that has an Oregon port or shore establishment as its home port or permanent station.
  • Are attending school in Oregon under a foreign student exchange program, and are not a US citizen.

If you are an Oregon resident who fits the above criteria, you may be able to purchase a fishing license at a reduced price. Here’s a brief overview of the types of reduced-cost licenses on offer:

  • A Pioneer License is available for Oregon residents aged 65 years or older who have resided in Oregon for no less than 50 years.
  • Oregon residents who have a disability rating of at least 25% are eligible for a Resident Disabled Veteran’s License.
  • Oregon residents aged at least 70 years or older who have resided in Oregon for at least 5 years are eligible for a variety of Senior Citizens licenses.

Costs for Residents

There’s a good variety of fishing licenses to choose from if you’re an Oregon resident. Whether you want to opt for a full year of fishing, combine it with some hunting, or just cast a line for a few days, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a breakdown of all the available options:

Resident License TypeCost
One Day Angling License$23.00
Two Day Angling License$42.00
Three Day Angling License$59.50
Daily Angling and Shellfish Combo License$32.50
Annual Shellfish License$10.00
Annual Angling License$44.00
Annual Sports Pac (includes: Angling, Shellfish, and Hunting License; combined angling tag; spring turkey, cougar, general or controlled bear tag, elk and deer tags; upland bird and waterfowl validations)$196.50
Annual Combination Angling and Hunting License$73.00
Youth License (12-17 years old, includes Angling, Hunting, Shellfish and Columbia River Basin Endorsement)$10.00
Youth Sports Pac (Includes: Angling, Shellfish, and Hunting License; combined angling tag; spring turkey, cougar, general or controlled bear tag, elk and deer tags; upland bird and waterfowl validations and the Columbia River Basin Endorsement)$55.00
Senior Angling License (70 years old and Oregon resident for at least 5 years)$29.00
Senior Combination License (70 years old and Oregon resident for at least 5 years)$47.50
Pioneer Combination (65 years old and Oregon resident for at least 50 years) (Includes: Angling and Hunting License and Columbia River Basin Endorsement).$6.00
Disabled Veteran Shellfish LicenseFREE
Disabled Veteran Combination License (Includes Columbia River Basin Endorsement)FREE

Information for Non-Residents

Although there are slightly fewer options than if you’re an Oregon resident, fishing in this state as a non-resident still gives you plenty to choose from. The main difference is that you’re not eligible for certain types of licenses, such as the Sports Pac varieties.

However, you have some additional options. If you’re a Uniformed Service Member who does not reside in Oregon, you can buy annual angling and Shellfish licenses for the same price that residents pay. You also have flexibility when it comes to the length of certain licenses, too. More on those below!

Costs for Non-Residents

In some cases, such as with daily licenses, non-residents actually pay the same fee as residents. Here are all the available Oregon fishing licenses for out-of-state visitors:

Non-Resident License TypeCost
One Day Angling License$23.00
Two Day Angling License$42.00
Three Day Angling License$59.50
Seven Day Angling License$93.50
Daily Angling and Shellfish Combination License$32.50
Three Day Shellfish License$19.00
Annual Angling License$110.50
Annual Shellfish License$28.00
Youth License (12-17 years old, includes Angling, Hunting, Shellfish and Columbia River Basin Endorsement)$10.00
Uniformed Services Angling License $44.00
Uniformed Services Shellfish License$29.00

Who can fish without a license?

When it comes to fishing in Oregon, there are a few exceptions that let anglers explore these waters license-free. In the following situations, you do not need to purchase a license:

  • During Free Fishing Weekend(s);
  • If you are an Oregon resident and landowner fishing on land you own, except if you are fishing for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, or Halibut;
  • When taking crayfish or bullfrogs;
  • If you are an Oregon resident fishing and residing on land owned by an immediate family member, except when fishing for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, or Halibut.
  • If you are a resident or non-resident of Oregon who is eligible for an Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit (includes disabled clam digging).

Additional Requirements

We’re almost done, we promise! Another important part of fishing legally in Oregon is making sure you not only have a valid fishing license, but all the required endorsements, validations, tags, and permits. These have a variety of different purposes, from allowing you to harvest specific species to letting you drop two lines at once.

An important additional requirement is the Columbia River Basin Endorsement. If you want to go fishing for Salmon, Steelhead, or Sturgeon on all rivers and tributaries in the Columbia River Basin, including the Columbia River itself, you’ll need to buy this endorsement.

These requirements are available for both residents and non-residents. The prices and types of licenses available can differ, so we’ve split them into two separate tables.

Additional Requirements Costs for Residents

Resident Additional Requirement TypeCost
Columbia River Basin Endorsement (When purchased at same time as angling license)$9.75
Columbia River Basin Endorsement (If purchased separately from angling license)$11.75
Columbia River Basin Endorsement (Each day)$1.00
Two Rod Validation (Allows a licensed angler to use: Two rods or lines while angling in standing water bodies such as lakes, ponds and reservoirs, including Snake River impoundments above Hells Canyon Dam.)$28.00
Adult Combined Angling Tag (Required if you’re angling for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, and Halibut)$46.00
Hatchery Salmon / Steelhead Harvest Card$33.00
Youth Angling Combined Angling Tag (Required if you’re angling for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, and Halibut)$5.00
Duplicate Tag$1.00
Abalone Harvest PermitFREE
Scallop Harvest PermitFREE

Additional Requirements Costs for Non-Residents

Resident Additional Requirement TypeCost
Columbia River Basin Endorsement (When purchased at same time as angling license)$9.75
Columbia River Basin Endorsement (If purchased separately from angling license)$11.75
Columbia River Basin Endorsement (Each day)$1.00
Two Rod Validation (Allows a licensed angler to use: Two rods or lines while angling in standing water bodies such as lakes, ponds and reservoirs, including Snake River impoundments above Hells Canyon Dam.)$28.00
Adult Combined Angling Tag (Required if you’re angling for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, and Halibut)$66.00
Hatchery Salmon / Steelhead Harvest Card$33.00
Youth Angling Combined Angling Tag (Required if you’re angling for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, and Halibut)$5.00
Duplicate Tag$1.00
Abalone Harvest PermitFREE
Scallop Harvest PermitFREE

Where to Buy Your Oregon Fishing License

A vintage red and yellow bait and tackle sign against a brick wall

There’s a variety of ways to purchase an Oregon fishing license, no matter whether you prefer to do it in person or online. Use one of the options below and get ready to head out onto the water:

  • Online. Purchase your license within minutes, all without leaving your home, on the ODFW website. You can either print out your license or download it to your smartphone. You can also download the MyODFW app to your phone, and store your license and any necessary tags or endorsements here.
  • In person. There’s a huge variety of places that sell Oregon fishing licenses in person, from local ODFW offices to licensed vendors such as Walmart and bait and tackle shops. You’ll find them dotted all around the state.

What happens if I lose my license?

The best way to avoid this is to buy your license online. That way, you don’t have to worry about carrying the physical document around with you, as you can simply download it to your phone. If you purchased it from a vendor or ODFW office, you can simply return and ask for a copy to be printed.

When it comes to tags, the rules are a little different. Even if you purchase your tag online, you’ll still have to visit an ODFW office or licensed vendor in order to replace it. Why? The new tag will have a new barcode, and your old tag will be invalid. Reprinting these tags costs $2.

Do I have to renew my license?

To put it simply – yes! Oregon fishing licenses are valid from Jan 1–Dec 31. You can renew your license from Dec 1 each year, so if you purchase your license on or after Dec 1, 2021, it’ll be valid until Dec 31, 2022. If you have any further questions about renewing your license, contact the ODFW licensing staff on 503-947-6101.

If you still have questions about getting your fishing license in Oregon, it’s best to get in touch with your local ODFW office. You can also leave us a comment below. Now it’s time to grab your license, rods, and reels, find a guide near you, and start fishing!

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