ROSEBURG, Ore. – Everyone loves to get something for nothing, and Oregonian’s can fish, crab and clam for free during Free Fishing Weekend, June 7-8. As an added bonus, events around the region can help parents introduce their children to the joy of fishing.
Events are typically geared toward kids and many provide loaner rods and reels as well as folks to help kids learn how to fish.
During Free Fishing Weekend, fishing licenses and tags are not required, although anglers must adhere to species, bag limit and size restrictions, as well as equipment limitations. People who already possess a combined tag for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and halibut are required to use it.
Following are events taking place throughout Southern Oregon. All dates are Saturday, June 7 unless noted:
- Libby Pond, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. This event for kids 13 and younger features food, loaner fishing equipment and gear, and a fishing derby with prizes.
- Elk River Hatchery, June 7 and 8 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days. More information: David Chambers, 541-332-7025.
- Cooper Creek, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This popular event has a kiddie pond for two to eight-year-olds, fly tying and casting lessons, loaner rods and reels, a fish cleaning station, hourly prize drawings, and free hot dogs and Pepsi.
- Herbert’s Pond, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. ODFW is stocking 500 legal-size trout just prior to Free Fishing Weekend. Prizes, bait supplies and help for first-time anglers are featured at this event for kids 16 and under. Food and drinks will be available.
- Diamond Lake, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Many fish have been stocked in Diamond Lake and boat access is now available. There will be prizes for kids and help for new anglers.
- Lake Marie, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event is Sunday, June 8 for kids 14 and under. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Rods and reels will be available, along with help for first-time anglers. Kids can enter a casting contest and receive a bounty for picking up litter. The hot dogs and soda are free to kids, and a nominal charge for adults will help pay for next year’s event.
- Rock Creek Hatchery, Sunday, June 8. This event is for disabled kids. Bait and fishing equipment will be provided, along with a complimentary lunch for the entire family. Parents should call Marc Garst at the hatchery, 541-496-3484 to reserve a spot.
- Butte Falls Fish Hatchery, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event is for kids 12 and under. The fishing pond will be stocked with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and about 80 three-pounders, and the kids can keep up to five fish each. There will be loaner equipment and bait available.
- Expo Ponds, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Rods and reels will be available for loan and bait is provided, along with help for beginning anglers. Parent supervision is required.
- Hyatt Lake, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. both June 7 and 8. Free breakfast starts at 8 a.m. This popular event features free camping and breakfast. Rods and reels can be borrowed and the bait is free. The BLM will provide boat rides.
- Lost Creek Lake, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. In addition to free fishing, folks can enjoy free camping and a noon BBQ on Saturday at Stewart State Park. For information, please call Stewart State Park at 541-560-3334. The Free Fishing Weekend event has prizes for kids, loaner rods and reels, free bait and giveaways.
- Lake Selmac, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. There will be fun activities for kids, help for beginner anglers, free bait and loaner rods.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.