ODFW Recreation Report: January 25

Stock Photo | Photo by  Hans Veth

Stock Photo | Photo by Hans Veth

Highlights from this week’s Recreation Report:

2018 Free Fishing Days

On these dates you won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon that’s open to fishing (crabbing or clamming):

  • Feb. 17-18
  • June 2-3
  • Sept. 1-2
  • Nov. 23-24

Report your hunt -- Win a tag

The mandatory reporting deadline for hunts that end Dec. 31, 2017 is Jan. 31, 2018. Hunters who report on time are entered to win a special big game tag -- you'll choose to hunt deer, elk or pronghorn in an expanded area and for an extended season. We'll draw three winners in June. There are several ways to report, including online.

Spring bear

The application deadline for the spring bear controlled hunts is Feb. 10.

Best bets for fishing

Some of the highlights from this week’s Recreation Report include:

  • Ice fishing for trout and yellow perch in northeast Oregon.
  • Winter fly-fishing for trout in the Deschutes, Crooked, Fall and Metolius rivers.
  • If the weather cooperates and ocean swells subside, surf perch fishing has been fair to good along the central and southern coast.
  • And while not exactly fishing, the winter months can be excellent for crabbing along the Oregon Coast.

Turn in your combined angling tag

Even if you didn’t harvest a salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut in 2018. Our biologists use this data to better manage these fisheries. Anglers can use this data to see where fish have been caught over the years.

Tags can be turned in to any POS agent or at any ODFW office located throughout the state. The tags also can be mailed to any ODFW office.

Winter steelhead: water dependent

This time of year, water conditions for winter steelhead fishing can vacillate between too low and clear, and too high and muddy. Successful anglers will 1) adjust their gear and tackle for current conditions, and/or 2) be ready to hit the water when water conditions improve – usually once water levels start to drop after a good rain.  Check out the zone reports for the best weekend possibilities.