‘Green Friday’ urges people to ‘opt outside’

A steelhead salmon leaps out of the water after being hooked by Tim Trainor during a fishing trip on the North Fork Nehalem River in 2016. State parks and wildlife departments are waiving fishing licensing requirements for Friday and Saturday.

Instead of shopping Black Friday deals after Thanksgiving, Oregon’s parks and wildlife departments want people to celebrate “Green Friday.”

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is waiving all fishing licensing requirements in areas open to recreational fishing on Friday and Saturday so people can “opt outside” with friends and family over the long holiday weekend. The waiver includes all fishing, crabbing and clamming across the state.

Some crabbing restrictions are in place due to elevated levels of the marine toxin domoic acid and ocean crabbing is closed. Recreational crabbing is open in bays and estuaries, docks, piers and on beaches from Coos Bay’s north jetty to Tahkenitch Creek and north of Cape Foulweather to the Columbia River.

The department stocked lakes and reservoirs across Oregon with trout at the beginning of the month. Some western Oregon lakes were restocked the week of Thanksgiving, including Progress Lake in Tigard, Waverly Lake in Albany, Faraday Lake in Estacada, Walter Wirth Lake and Walling Pond in Salem, and Alton Baker Canal in Springfield, among others.

Winter steelhead also become available at this time, with Thanksgiving typically marking the beginning of the season on the coast.

Prefer a hike? The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is waiving day-use parking fees in 26 of the state’s parks the day after Thanksgiving.

“We started this tradition three years ago to encourage people to opt outside,” said Director Lisa Sumption in a statement. “Why not get some fresh air with your family and create a new holiday tradition?”

The nonprofit Oregon State Parks Foundation is celebrating by offering free hot drinks and snacks at a number of state parks including at Fort Stevens State Park outside Hammond. The refreshments will be served by volunteers from local friends groups. Fort Stevens requires a parking fee at its Coffenbury Lake site, where there is a boat launch, picnic areas and a hiking trail around the dune lake.

For a list of parks that require day-use parking permits, visit bit.ly/OregonStateParksParking

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