|Randy Underhill helps his daughter, Summeo, work a spinning rod while fishing for trout at Mt. Hood Pond, which has been designated as one of Oregon’s first public “youth only” fishing venues.
- Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW -
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Spring fishing for Gresham area youngsters will get into full swing next week when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Mt. Hood Pond with 1,000 rainbow trout.
Next week’s event will be the first release of hatchery fish at Mt. Hood Pond since new rules took effect, designating it as a youth-only fishing venue from April 1 through August 31. The 8-inch trout will be trucked in from ODFW’s Roaring River Fish Hatchery near Scio.
The new regulation limiting angling to youths age 17 and under was adopted last September by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission after a series of public meetings around the state. Mt. Hood Pond is one of three sites in the Portland area selected for youth-only fishing designation. The other two are Canby Pond, located in Canby Community Park, and Small Fry Lake, located next to North Fork Reservoir off Highway 224 east of Estacada.
“The public has stated that they want more angling opportunities for youth,” said Rhine Messmer, ODFW’s Recreational Fishery Program manager.
Messmer noted that recruiting young anglers has been identified as a top priority in ODFW’s new 25-Year Angling Enhancement Plan. The plan lays out strategies, actions and pilot projects that ODFW will take to enhance recreational fishing opportunities in Oregon over the next 25 years.
Mt. Hood Pond was selected as one of the state’s first youth-only fishing sites because of its easy access and relative safety, according to Todd Alsbury, district fish biologist for ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed. The pond is located near Mt. Hood Community College in the heart of Gresham.
“We were making a concerted effort to find unique opportunities for kids, particularly in the metro area where there is a tremendous amount of competition with adults for the best fishing spots,” said Alsbury. “The pond is small with easy access by foot, bike, bus or car and is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus, which provides a safe environment for kids to enjoy.”
The availability of alternative sites for adults was another factor in the decision to make Mt. Hood Pond a youth fishing pond. For example, West Salish Pond in Fairview is one of ODFW’s most popular stocked fisheries. It is scheduled to receive more than 8,000 rainbow trout this year, including more than 1,000 that are considered trophy class fish. Blue Lake, Benson Lake, and Hartman Pond offer additional adult trout fishing opportunities in the area. The Sandy River is also nearby and provides opportunities for salmon and steelhead angling year-round.
For more information about fishing opportunities, visit ODFW’s website.