HERMISTON, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with several local partners, will host a free youth fishing event at the McNary Channel Ponds near Hermiston on Saturday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is open to all youth 2 to 12 years old.
“This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to fishing,” said Bill Duke, ODFW district fish biologist. “It’s a great natural setting with easy access, and there will be plenty of fish in the pond and volunteers to help kids catch them.”
ODFW will provide loaner fishing rods, reels, tackle and bait for youth who don’t have their own gear, and there will be plenty of ODFW staff and volunteers to help participants learn to how to bait a hook, cast a rod and land a fish. There also will be prizes awarded for the largest fish in each age group.
New this year will be a fly-fishing only area, as well as loaner fly-fishing equipment and instruction.
The event is part of ODFW’s Youth Angling Enhancement Program (YAEP), designed to introduce young people to the fun of fishing. The event is also being sponsored by local partners including the Hermiston Parks and Recreation Department, Campbell Toyota, KOHU 1360/KQFM 100.5 radio and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
All fishing regulations will apply, and anglers younger than 13 years will not need a license.
To find McNary Channel Ponds from Hwy 370 at Umatilla, turn north onto Brownell Blvd (just west of I-82). Proceed to W. Third St. Turn right on Third Street and proceed through the 1-82 underpass. The ponds are north of Third St. between 1-82 and McNary Dam. There are several well-signed vehicle access points.
For more information about this event call Bill Duke, ODFW district fish biologist, at (541) 276-2344. For a list of all YAEP events throughout the state.