CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Spring fishing for Gresham area youngsters will get into full swing Saturday, May 22 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts a free youth fishing event at Mt. Hood Pond.
To ensure that kids have plenty of opportunity to catch fish, ODFW, the Mt. Hood Community College Fisheries Department and Desert Springs Hatchery will be releasing more than 4,000 legal-sized and larger rainbow trout.
“This will be a great opportunity for kids to spend the morning catching fish,” said Todd Alsbury, fish biologist for ODFW’s Willamette Watershed District. He noted that this is one of the largest trout releases of the year for a youth fishing event, made possible by the additional fish provided by the MHCC Fisheries Program.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ODFW will provide rods, reels, tackle and bait for youngsters who do not have their own equipment, and instructors will be on hand to provide instruction in the basics of fishing, including how to clean a fish.
“We look forward to this event every year,” said Alsbury. “The smiles we get from kids who’ve just caught their first fish make this a positive and memorable experience for everyone involved.”
Mt. Hood Pond is one of only three youth-only fishing venues in the state. From April 1 through August 31 angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under as well as individuals who possess an Oregon disabilities fishing permit. It was selected for this distinction because of its easy access and relative safety, according Alsbury. The pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College Campus in Gresham, at 2600 SE Stark Street.
Under Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, anglers ages 13 and under can fish for free while those 14-17 will need to have a juvenile angling license, which are available for $9 at ODFW field offices and license outlets. Licenses will not be sold at Mt. Hood Pond.
This is one of 33 youth fishing events across the state that ODFW will host this year. The statewide program was made possible through a $25,000 appropriation from the Oregon Legislature.