A weekend of free fishing 

This coming weekend, June 1-2, is Oregon’s Free Fishing weekend, an event held statewide to encourage folks to step outside, enjoy the sunshine, appreciate the outdoors and maybe even catch a lunker or two. 

Several times a year, the Oregon Department of Fishing and Wildlife (ODFW) hosts a free fishing weekend meaning that, while fishing/shellfishing, you do not need a license, tag, validation or endorsement to experience some great fishing. 

Both Oregon residents and nonresidents can fish for free. Oregon State Parks also offers free parking and camping on Saturday, June 1. 

All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for regulations. 

According to an ODFW report, here are some of the best bets for weekend fishing in the Willamette area. 

Spring Chinook numbers have increased dramatically in the north and south Fork Santiam. 

The Detroit Reservoir will be stocked the week of May 20 with 8,000 larger trout. 

Early summer steelhead and spring Chinook should be in the Sandy and Clackamas. 

Gold Lake opened May 22 to fly-fishers willing to hike/snowshoe in until the snow on the road melts. 

Summer steelhead fishing has been good in the lower McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette. Look for spring Chinook to be heating up, too. 

Turner Lake was stocked with 100 or so summer steelhead and Junction City Pond is getting about 80 this week. 

This week, about 2,200 trout will be stocked at several locations along Quartzville Creek, where water levels are excellent for fishing. 

Expect lots of rainbow trout to be stocked in Oregon’s ponds and lakes for the weekend; more trout are stocked during the next two weeks (for Memorial Day and June Free Fishing Weekend) than at any other time of year. 

The following locations have also been stocked as of the week of May 20. Those locations include: Coast Fork Willamette, Junction City Pond, Blue River, Sheridan Pond, Silver Creek Reservoir, Timber Linn Lake, Trillium Lake, Quartzville Creek, Timothy Lake, Waverly Lake, Foster Reservoir, North Fork Santiam, Leaburg Lake, Yamhill River, Detroit Reservoir, McKenzie River below Leaburg, Timothy Lake, Harriet Lake, Walter Wirth Lake, Fall Creek, Henry Hagg Lake and the Alton Baker Canoe Canal 

Check out the ODFW fishing and trout stocking maps to find nearby fishing locations (including high mountain lakes), driving directions and descriptions of amenities as well as to stay up-to-date on what areas have been stocked or need to be. 

In addition to the license-free fishing the ODFW will host a series of events over the weekend throughout the state, bringing all the gear prospective anglers will need. 

Equipment can be loaned out and ODFW staff are available to teach how to rig up, bait, cast, land and clean your catch. 

Events are being held at the following locations and times; see the Family Fishing Events page for more information. 

Saturday, June 1 

Clatskanie: Gnat Creek Hatchery, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Estacada: Small Fry Lake, Promontory Park, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (for age 17 and younger) 

Eugene: Alton Baker Park, 9 a.m. – 2p.m. 

Gaston: Henry Hagg Lake, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Hebo: Hebo Lake, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Junction City: West Kirk Park, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Lakeside: Tugman State Park (Eel Lake), 9 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

Portland: Commonwealth Lake Park, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Toledo: Olalla Reservoir, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Florence: Cleawox Lake, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Tillamook: Trask Hatchery, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (kids under 16 only); 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (or until all fish have been caught) for all ages. 

Ukiah: Twin Ponds, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Sunday, June 2 

Gaston: Henry Hagg Lake, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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