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Popular Willamette Valley fishing spot gets ADA trail
 
February 23, 2011

 

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – A 240-acre public fishing complex in the heart of the Willamette Valley is now more accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently completed construction of a paved pathway that makes it possible for people in wheelchairs to reach many of the fishing ponds available at St. Louis Ponds.

St. Louis Ponds is a public fishing park located near the I-5 freeway about two miles west of Gervais. Owned and managed by ODFW, this site has seven ponds that contain trout, crappie, bass, perch, catfish and other fish species. The department frequently conducts youth angling events at the site and stocks several of the ponds with hatchery-reared brook and rainbow trout.

The new 2,300-foot asphalt pathway was constructed by East Valley Enterprises of Sublimity, Oregon, and is built to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards to meet the needs of disabled anglers. The path gives people in wheelchairs the ability to reach fishing platforms and shore side turnouts at various locations throughout the complex. Future plans call for construction of additional fishing piers and platforms. ODFW has identified approximately nine additional sites where accessible piers, platforms and docks may be built.

“We are very pleased to offer better access for disabled anglers, and look forward to being able to build more accessible fishing structures in the future to increase angling opportunities at St. Louis Ponds” said Jeff Boechler, ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed District manager.

Construction of the pathway was paid for by a grant from the Restoration & Enhancement Program which is funded through the sale of Oregon fishing licenses. The project is the first phase of a larger plan to develop additional ADA-accessible fishing opportunities at St. Louis Ponds. Increasing opportunities at St. Louis Ponds was identified in ODFW’s 25 Year Angling Plan, which directs how the department will develop new recreational fishing opportunities all across Oregon.

St. Louis Ponds is cooperatively managed by ODFW and the Marion County Parks Department.

The property was purchased by ODFW in 1968 and opened to fishing in 1980. The site is dedicated to Clark B. Walsh, a former assistant director of the Oregon State Game Commission, who initiated the purchase and development of the property for people who enjoy fishing for warm water species. ODFW focused this project at St. Louis Ponds because of its proximity to the heavily populated northern Willamette Valley.

The St. Louis Ponds public fishing area is open for angling year-round but the access road gate is closed from Oct. 1 – Feb. 28 each year. To get there, exit the I-5 freeway at Woodburn and travel west to Butteville Road. Take Butteville Road south to Gervais. From Gervais, take St. Louis Road west to Tesch Lane, then turn left and follow the road to the ponds.

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Contact:

Jeff Boechler (971) 673-6005
Rick Swart (971) 673-6038

 
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