CLACKAMAS, Ore. – One of the most popular youth angling events in Oregon will unfold near the shores of the Columbia River Saturday, June 6 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts its 16th annual “Passport to Fishing” day below Bonneville Dam.
A fun-filled day of fishing and related activities is in store for the hundreds of youngsters who are expected to show up for the event at ODFW’s Bonneville Fish Hatchery, Oregon’s largest fish rearing facility. The hatchery is located 40 miles east of Portland at Exit 40 on Hwy. I-84. Registration will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The free fishing clinic for children ages 12 and under will have 10 stations where youngsters can learn about river care, water safety, casting, fish identification and other topics. After getting their “ODFW Passport” stamped at each station, young anglers can venture out to fish at one of several areas next to the hatchery that will be stocked with rainbow trout. Each youngster will be allowed a 30-minute fishing period and the opportunity to catch up to two rainbow trout. Most of the 3,600 fish will be 8 to 12 inches long, and a few will be trophy class fish weighing 2 to 3 pounds. Youngsters lucky enough to catch one of the larger fish will be eligible to win an additional prize provided by ODFW and its sponsors.
ODFW will provide all the poles and tackle kids need to catch a fish as well as bags and ice to keep their fish fresh until they get home. Personal fishing equipment will not be allowed.
Passport to Fishing at Bonneville is the largest of dozens of Free Fishing Weekend events that will take place across the state June 6-7. More than 175 volunteers and staff representing several civic, sportsmen and government organizations will be on hand at Bonneville to make sure the event goes forward, rain or shine, without a hitch.
Free Fishing Weekend is an Oregon tradition – two days each year when the public is allowed to fish, clam, or crab anywhere in the state without a fishing license or tag. ODFW encourages adults to use this opportunity to take youngsters fishing. Other than the two-day waiver on purchasing a license, all regulations related to fishing locations, species, and catch limits still apply.
“Helping kids discover the benefits of fishing through events like this is one of our agency’s top priorities,” said Jeff Boechler, manager of ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed District, which stocks 25 lakes and ponds in the Portland metropolitan area. “This is a good time for people to get out and explore the wealth of recreational opportunities that Oregon has to offer right in their own backyards.”
Other Free Fishing Weekend Fishing Opportunities in the Portland Area:
Benson Lake will receive about 4,000 fish for Free Fishing Weekend. Benson Lake is in Benson Lake State Park, the exit before Multnomah Falls, off of I-84 going east.
Faraday Lake will receive about 2,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. The lake is two miles southeast of Estacada, off Highway 224 on the Clackamas River.
Harriet Lake will receive about 5,000 fish for Free Fishing Weekend. Harriet Lake is on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River. Take U.S. Forest Service roads from Ripplebrook Ranger Station beyond Estacada.
Hartman Pond will receive about 1,250 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. The pond is in the Columbia River Gorge, off the Benson Lake State Park exit, going east.
Henry Hagg Lake will receive about 6,500 fish for Free Fishing Weekend. Take Highway 47 south from Forest Grove and head west on the turn-off south of Dilley.
North Fork Reservoir will receive about 7,500 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. The reservoir is located seven miles south of Estacada off of Highway 224.
Sheridan Pond will receive about 600 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. Sheridan Pond is located just south of Sheridan. Take Exit 33 off Highway 18 and head south. The pond is in Sheridan Wetlands Park on the left side of the road.
Timothy Lake will receive about 5,000 fish for Free Fishing Weekend. Timothy Lake is about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Highway 26, turn onto Skyline Road, also known as U.S. Forest Service Road 42.
West Salish Pond will receive about 1,500 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. West Salish Pond is located in Salish Ponds Wetlands Park on the north side of NE Glisan Street, just west of NE 207th in Fairview.
For more information about Passport to Fishing, please call Jennell Hoehne, Volunteer Coordinator in Clackamas, at 971-673-6008. For more information about statewide Free Fishing Weekend events, check ODFW’s website.