May 23, 2013
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is gearing up for one of the region’s most popular outdoor activities – Free Fishing Weekend, which will take place this year June 1-2. On these two days, ODFW will waive all fees associated with recreational fishing, clamming and crabbing throughout the state.
It’s all about helping people discover the joy of fishing and the many great outdoor locations where this activity takes place.
This year outdoor enthusiasts will have even more reason to get out and explore because Free Fishing Weekend will coincide with the Oregon Parks Department’s “All Camping Day” which will happen on Saturday, June 1 when admission to all state parks will be free.
“Some of the best fishing in Oregon takes place within our state parks,” said David Lane, acting deputy administrator of the ODFW’s Information and Education Division. “By aligning these two events, we are making it even easier for folks to get out and find some great fishing holes.”
To help beginning anglers get started, ODFW and some of its partners, including Cabela’s, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, are offering several Free Fishing Weekend events across ODFW’s Northwest Region. ODFW staff and volunteer instructors will be available at these events to assist people who want to learn how to fish. The department will also loan out rods, reels, and tackle to people who do not have their own gear, on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We have a lot of great places to go fishing and Free Fishing Weekend is a good time to get out and explore some of these opportunities,” said Jeff Fulop, Salmon Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s North Willamette Watershed, who is heading up a Free Fishing Weekend event at ODFW’s St. Louis Ponds near Woodburn.
In addition to St. Louis Ponds, Free Fishing Weekend events will take place at Alton Baker Canoe Canal in Eugene, Big Creek Reservoir in Newport, Trask River Fish Hatchery near Tillamook, Nedonna Pond near Rockaway, and at Cleawox Lake near Florence. Dozens of other sites around the region will be stocked with thousands of rainbow trout, ranging in size from 8 inches to well over 2 pounds apiece.
“This is a great opportunity for new anglers to explore some great fishing right in their own back yard,” said Shannon Richardson, ODFW biologist in Springfield.
Here is a summary of the Free Fishing Weekend events around ODFW’s Northwest Region:
- EUGENE – Alton Baker Canoe Canal, Saturday, June 1, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The canal will be stocked with 750 legal-sized and 125 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. The fishing event will take place about 250 yards upstream of the bridge over the canal as you enter the park. Follow the gravel pedestrian path from the road up the canal to the event. For more information, contact Shannon Richardson at (541) 726-3515, ext. 28.
- FLORENCE – Cleawox Lake, Saturday, June 1, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. This is an 87-acre lake located within Honeyman State Park a few miles south of Florence. From Florence, take U.S. Highway 101 south for 3.8 miles and turn right at Canary Road. For more information, contact John Spangler at (541) 902-1384. This lake will receive 2,000 legal-sized, 1,800 larger and 250 trophy trout for Free Fishing Weekend.
- NEWPORT – Big Creek Reservoir #2, Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. There is no parking at the event site, so participants will need to catch the Valley Retriever from either the Wal-Mart parking lot in Newport or Big Creek Park below Reservoir #1 (2510 NE Big Creek Road). There is limited parking available at Big Creek Park. A bus will leave the Wal-Mart parking lot and event site approximately every 15 minutes from 8:30am to 2:30pm, and each will stop at Big Creek Park on their way. For more information, contact Christine Clapp at (541) 265-8306, ext. 253. There are two reservoirs in this area and both of them will be stocked with rainbow trout for Free Fishing Weekend.
- ROCKAWAY – Nedonna Pond, Saturday June 1, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This is a 2-acre pond located on the Oregon coast about a mile north of Rockaway, just west of Hwy 101 in the Manhattan Beach area. This event is geared for youngsters 12 and under. The pond will be stocked for this event with 750 hatchery trout. For more information, contact Joe Watkins at 503-368-6828.
- TILLAMOOK – Trask River Fish Hatchery, Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The hatchery is about 7 miles southeast of Tillamook at 15020 Chance Road. From Tillamook, head east on Hwy 6 for 2.5 miles to Trask River Road. Travel south on Trask River Road 2.5 miles to Chance Road. Proceed east on Chance Road 2.5 miles to the hatchery. For more information, contact Jim Skaar at 503-842-4090.
- WOODBURN – St. Louis Ponds, Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. St. Louis Ponds is a 54-acre complex of seven ponds owned and managed by ODFW. In addition to stocked trout, the ponds contain several species of warmwater fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and sunfish. Parking is very limited, carpooling is encouraged, and participants may need to walk in a mile from the gate at the entrance of the complex. St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds. For more information, contact Jeff Fulop at (971) 673-6034.
Additional Free Fishing Weekend fishing opportunities in ODFW’s Northwest Region are as follows:
- Alder Lake will receive 425 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a 3-acre trout lake in Siuslaw National Forest, 7.6 miles north of Florence, west of Hwy 101, about 1/2 mile north of Sutton Lake.
- Blue River above Blue River Reservoir will be stocked with 1,500 legal-sized and 250 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This site is about 42 miles east of Eugene.
- Blue River Reservoir will be stocked with 3,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is located 42 miles east of Eugene, off Hwy 126.
- Breitenbush River will receive 1,800 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This beautiful river is located about 10 miles east of Detroit.
- Buck Lake will receive 425 larger and 36 trophy trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a 5-acre lake about 4.5 miles north of Florence, and about 1/4 mile south of Alder and Dune lakes. A trail on the west side of the highway leads a few hundred feet to the lake.
- Cape Meares Lake will receive 1,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a 65-acre lake located 7 miles west and north of Tillamook, along Bay Ocean Road.
- Coffenbury Lake will receive 1,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a 50-acre lake located in Fort Stevens State Park 2 miles west of Warrenton.
- Carmen Reservoir will receive 2,500 legal-sized and 500 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This reservoir is located on the McKenzie River, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake on Hwy 126., 21 miles north of the McKenzie Hwy.
- Dune Lake will receive 425 larger rainbow trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This lake is located in the Siuslaw National Forest, 7.6 miles north of Florence, west of Hwy 101, about 1/2 mile north of Sutton Lake.
- Estacada Lake will receive 1,500 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This lake is located behind River Mill Dam at Estacada.
- EE Wilson Pond will receive 1,650 legal-sized and 100 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This pond is located within the EE Wilson Wildlife area just off Hwy 99W between Corvallis and Monmouth.
- Erhart Lake will receive 100 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a small lake on the west side of Hwy 101, about 8 miles south of Florence near Siltcoos Lake.
- Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir will receive 1,500 legal-sized and 250 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This site is located about 15 miles east of Springfield.
- Faraday Lake will receive 1,500 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This lake is located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada off Hwy 224, south of the highway next to the Portland General Electric powerhouse. Only bank fishing is allowed.
- Georgia Lake will receive 75 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This lake is located 6 miles south of Florence off of Hwy 101 opposite the Siltcoos Lake outlet and campground. Access is from the east side of the highway.
- Harriet Lake will receive 5,000 legal-sized and 125 trophy trout 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.
- Henry Hagg Lake will receive 4,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. Take Hwy. 47 south from Forest Grove and head west on the turn-off south of Dilley. Henry Hagg Lake has the added benefit of being a Cabela’s Wanna Fish for Millions contest. As such, it contains tagged fish that could win the lucky anglers who reel them in prizes of up to $2 million.
- Junction City Pond will receive 1,450 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This pond is located three miles south of Junction City on the west side of Hwy 99.
- Hebo Lake will receive 1,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This lake is located about 24 miles southeast of Tillamook. The U.S. Forest Service will host some Free Fishing Weekend activities at this recently upgraded site.
- Leaburg Lake will receive 2,300 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This lake is located directly behind Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River approximately 17 miles east of Springfield.
- McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake will receive 6,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend.
- McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake will receive 1,250 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. North Fork Reservoir will receive 6,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. The reservoir is located seven miles south of Estacada off of Hwy. 224.
- North Fork Santiam River above Detroit Lake will receive 3,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. Detroit Lake is located about 50 miles east of Salem, off Hwy 22.
- Olalla Creek Reservoir will receive 2,500 larger trout and 1,500 trophy trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a 120-acre reservoir on Olalla Creek. From Toledo, follow Hwy 20 east about a mile, then turn left (north) on Olalla Rd, which reaches the reservoir in less than 3 miles.
- Perkins Lake will receive 100 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a 5-acre lake in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area about 10 miles south of Florence. The lake is just west of Hwy 101 and a few miles north of Tahkenitch Lake.
- Quartzville Creek will receive 2,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This river is located in the Willamette National Forest about 35 miles northeast of Sweet Home.
- Roaring River Park Pond will receive 400 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a small pond located in a day-use park about 20 miles east of Albany, via Hwy 20/226. There are some nice covered bridges to see along the way.
- Salmon Creek will receive 1,750 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. Follow Hwy. 58 east from Springfield through Oakridge to the Salmon Creek Fish Hatchery one mile east of town to Forest Rd. 24
- Salt Creek will receive 500 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This stream is located east of Oakridge along Hwy 58.
- Siltcoos Lake will receive 425 larger trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This lake is located 6 miles south of Florence off of Hwy 101. To reach the east shore, follow Canary Rd east and south from Honeyman State Park along a winding 15 mile road.
- Thissel Pond will receive 3,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. This is a 3-acre fish pond located about 15 miles west of Alsea, turn north on Forest Rd 62 toward Fall Creek Hatchery. Thissel Pond is about a mile downstream from the hatchery.
- Town Lake will receive 1,000 trout for Free Fishing Weekend. It is located near the community of Woods, Oregon.
- Willamette River middle fork above Hills Creek Reservoir will receive 1,215 trout for Free Fishing Weekend.