Forget the fishing license this weekend

Amanda, Adam and 17-month-old Christopher Croghan fish in June 2008 along the Umatilla River in Umatilla. Fishing is free for all throughout the state this weekend.<BR><I>EO file photo</I>

SALEM - Fishing, crabbing and clamming are great Oregon traditions, and on June 6-7 Oregonians can do it all for free.

This Saturday and Sunday is Free Fishing Weekend and on those two days nobody will need a fishing or shellfish license to fish, crab or clam anywhere in the state. It's always free fishing for kids under 14 years old.

But all other current fishing and shellfish regulations will still apply.

"If you've never been fishing, or if you've always wanted to try clamming or crabbing, Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to discover how much fun they can be," said Rick Hargrave, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife deputy administrator for information/education.

To help beginning anglers get their feet wet, ODFW and its partners are offering more than 30 free fishing events throughout the state. At most events there will be free loaner equipment for novice anglers, special events for children, and lots of volunteers to help.

Events in Eastern Oregon will be held in Heppner, Wallowa, La Grande, Baker and the Umatilla National Forest.

For a complete list of events with times and locations, go online to www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/events/free_fishing/events.asp.

"Even if you've never baited a hook, we can show you how to fish," Hargrave said.

For anglers who would like to explore any of the state's hundreds of lakes, rivers and streams on their own, ODFW offers an Easy Angling Oregon guide, Warmwater Fishing in Oregon booklets, and an extensive Web site to help you decide where to go.

Visit www.dfw.state.or.us to find out more.

Free Fishing Weekend is always the first weekend after the first Monday in June.

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