Exploring Oregon Fishing Laws: Is a Fishing License Necessary for Kids?

Do Kids Need a Fishing License in Oregon?


Fishing is not only a popular pastime but also an excellent way for kids to connect with nature and learn valuable skills. If you’re planning a fishing trip with your little ones in beautiful Oregon, it’s crucial to understand the fishing license requirements for children. In this blog post, we will dive into whether kids need a fishing license in Oregon and provide you with all the necessary information.

The Age Requirement

If you’ve been wondering whether there is an age requirement for acquiring a fishing license for your child in Oregon, here’s what you need to know. Children under 12 years old do not need a fishing license when accompanied by an adult who possesses a valid Oregon angling or shellfish permit.

Fishing Without Adult Supervision

When kids reach the age of 12 or older, they are required to have their own individual fishing license if they plan on going out alone or without adult supervision. This means that once your child turns 12, they will be responsible for obtaining their own recreational angling or shellfish permit before engaging in independent fishing activities.

Ease of Obtaining Licenses

Luckily, obtaining a fishing license for your child in Oregon is quick and easy. Licenses can be obtained online through the official website of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Simply visit their website and follow the prompts to purchase either an annual youth angling or shellfish permit.

Purchasing Process:

  1. Navigate to ODFW’s official website
  2. Select “Licenses” from the menu options
  3. Choose “Youth Angling Licenses” or “Youth Shellfish Licenses”
  4. Provide the necessary personal information for your child
  5. Pay the required fee using a secure online payment method
  6. Receive and print the license, or save it digitally on your device

Licensing Fees and Validity

The pricing and validity of fishing licenses for kids in Oregon are attractive. As of 2021, an annual youth angling permit costs just $10.00 while a youth shellfish permit can be obtained for as little as $9.00 per year.

It’s important to note that these permits are valid for one calendar year from the date of purchase, so you’ll want to ensure that you renew them annually if your child plans to continue their fishing adventures.

Bonus Tips: Encouraging Outdoor Education and Safety Awareness

Fishing trips with children provide excellent opportunities not only for bonding but also for instilling outdoor education and safety awareness. Here are some bonus tips to make your fishing experience enjoyable and educational:

1. Teach Conservation Ethics:

Show kids how important it is to respect nature by practicing catch-and-release methods when appropriate, respecting bag limits, disposing of trash responsibly, and leaving no trace behind.

2. Focus on Safety:

Prioritize safety during fishing expeditions by ensuring children wear life jackets when near water bodies, providing sun protection like hats and sunscreen, teaching proper handling techniques regarding sharp hooks or knives, and supervising younger children at all times.

3. Explain Local Regulations:

In addition to obtaining a fishing license, familiarize yourself with local regulations such as size restrictions on certain fish species or restricted areas where angling is prohibited. By doing so, you help your child develop a sense of responsibility and respect for the environment.

4. Emphasize Fun and Learning:

Most importantly, make sure to emphasize that fishing is about having fun, enjoying nature’s beauty, and learning new skills along the way. Encourage your child to ask questions, explore different techniques or baits, and celebrate every catch as a victory!


In conclusion, while children under 12 do not require their own fishing license when accompanied by an adult with a valid Oregon angling or shellfish permit, kids aged 12 or older must obtain their individual licenses for independent fishing endeavors. The process of obtaining youth permits is straightforward through the ODFW website. Remember to teach children conservation ethics, focus on safety measures during trips, familiarize yourself with local regulations, and prioritize fun-filled learning experiences while exploring the wonders of fishing in beautiful Oregon!