SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A fun-filled morning of trout fishing and related activities is in store for youngsters on June 12 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts the 11th annual youth fishing event at Leaburg Hatchery.
This event has proven to be very popular from its inception, attracting hundreds of participants to the hatchery located on the banks of the McKenzie River approximately 21 miles east of Springfield.
The event will take place at from 9 a.m. until noon when two hatchery raceway ponds full of rainbow trout will be open to fishing for children 13 and under. A third display pond full of trophy-size trout will be open to catch-and-release fly fishing for children of all ages, with fly-fishing lessons provided by members of the McKenzie Fly Anglers and Cascade Family Flyfishers. Educational stations set up around the facility will provide additional information on aquatic insects living in the river, fish species, and water safety.
Each child will be fitted with a personal flotation device while fishing. ODFW will provide all equipment, including rods, reels and bait, and plenty of staff and volunteer instructors will be on hand to answer questions and offer assistance to participating youths. The hatchery will even provide a bag and ice for successful anglers to carry their cleaned catch home.
“We work hard to make sure this is a positive experience for everyone involved,” said Seth Morgan, coordinator of the event.
The event is offered free of charge and registration is required. Participants can sign up from 8 a.m. until noon at the Leaburg ball field, which is located near the fire station on Leaburg Drive, about two miles from the hatchery. A free shuttle running continuously throughout the morning will take participants from the registration area to and from the hatchery since parking there is limited and will not be allowed at the hatchery or the nearby Lloyd Knox Park. Private fishing gear is not necessary and won’t be allowed on the shuttle.
This is one of 33 youth fishing events across the state that ODFW will host in 2010. The statewide program was made possible through a $25,000 appropriation from the Oregon Legislature and the efforts of the Leaburg Hatchery staff, McKenzie Fly Anglers, Cascade Family Flyfishers and local volunteers.
Persons interested in helping out at this event are asked to contact the hatchery staff at (541) 896-3294 for more information.