April 23, 2014
|Minnie Brown of Portland enjoys an afternoon of fishing from the ADA-accessible fishing dock at Vernonia Pond in Oregon's Columbia County. (Photo by Rick Swart/ODFW)
TILLAMOOK, Ore. — Family fishing is coming to Vernonia’s favorite fishing hole on May 3. That’s when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a free family fishing event at Vernonia Lake, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To ensure that everybody has a chance to catch fish, ODFW will release more than 2,000 rainbow trout into the lake. This will be the third stocking for Vernonia Lake in the past month, bringing the total number of fish released to 8,000. And that’s not all – Vernonia Lake has a good population of resident warmwater fish, including largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and brown bullhead. There may even be a steelhead or two, as occasionally ODFW “recycles” some of these prized fish into the lake from its fish hatcheries.
“There will be no shortage of fishing opportunity this year at Vernonia Lake, that’s for sure,” said Ron Rehn, family fishing event coordinator for ODFW’s North Coast Watershed District. “We hope everybody will come out and help us land some of these fish.”
A feature of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Outdoors Program, this event is designed to introduce families to fishing. To make the experience as fun, easy and accessible as possible, ODFW will provide everything participants need to catch fish – rods and reels, tackle, and bait, free of charge while supplies last. Volunteer instructors will even be available on site to demonstrate effective fishing techniques for the various species that inhabit the lake.
Vernonia Lake is a popular fishing hole in Columbia County because not only does it have a nice selection of fish, it also has some amenities that make it accessible and family-friendly. Located at the north end of Vernonia on Hwy 47, the lake features a paved trail, a wheelchair accessible fishing platform, restrooms, drinking water, and children’s playground area. There is even an on-site bait shop/concession stand during the spring and summer months.
The fishing is free for kids 13 years of age and younger. A juvenile license is required for anglers 14-17 years of age and can be purchased for $9 at any ODFW field office, retail license agent or online at ODFW’s website. Adults are also welcome to fish during the event but must also have a fishing license. Licenses will not be sold at the lake the day of the event. The City of Vernonia also charges $5 to park at the lake.
This lake encompasses 42 acres and is one of 350 water bodies in Oregon that ODFW regularly stocks with trout. Persons who want to explore additional opportunities can do so by visiting ODFW’s website, www.dfw.state.or.us, and clicking on the “Fishing” tab.