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Oregon lakes may have ‘$1 million fish’
May 13, 2011


Tom Murtagh
Tom Murtagh, a fish biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, prepares to tag a largemouth bass to be released into Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove in preparation for the Wanna Go Fishing Promotion sponsored by Cabela's and Outdoor Channel May 14-July 14.
Photo courtesy of ODFW.

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Two popular Oregon fishing destinations will have an added attraction for anglers over the next two months – the possibility of landing a fish worth $1 million.

Henry Hagg Lake in Washington County and Detroit Lake in Marion County are among 65 bodies of water nationwide that have been chosen for inclusion in the “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions” contest sponsored by Cabella’s, Outdoor Channel, and fish and wildlife agencies from approximately 20 states.

The contest starts May 14 and continues through July 14, and participants must register on-line to be eligible for prizes. Register by going to the Cabela’s website at

“We are very excited about Oregon’s participation in the Wanna Go Fishing for Millions contest,” said Matt Eastman, host of Outfdoor Channel’s “Wanna go Fishing” program. “If $2.2 million doesn’t get your juices going I don’t know what will.”

That’s the combined value of the prizes, with a grand prize of $1 million. Participating water bodies have from 10 to 15 fish, each tagged with small “spaghetti” tags with unique numbers. Anglers lucky enough to catch a fish with one of these tags can claim their prize by entering the tag number and other information on the Cabela’s website. Prizes include Costa sunglasses, Sterry Topsider shoes, Abu Garcia reels, Berkley line, AT&T computer routers, and Cabela’s gift cards.

In addition to the prizes, anglers will have the benefit of catching some nice fish. At Hagg Lake, for example, ODFW biologists have tagged a total of 15 bass ranging from 2-5 pounds.

“Can you imagine the excitement of catching a five-pound largemouth bass and finding a tag that could be worth a million dollars?” said Gary Galovich, ODFW’s Western Oregon warmwater fish biologist.

At Detroit Lake, ODFW’s Marion Forks Fish Hatchery tagged and released 12 3-pound rainbow trout for the contest.

“Trout don’t hold up like bass, and you could find them just about anywhere in Detroit Lake,” said Alex Farrand, assistant district fish biologist for ODFW’s South Willamette Watershed.

ODFW opted to participate in the contest in an attempt to encourage people to get out and discover the joy of fishing, according to Rhine Messmer, ODFW’s Recreational Fisheries Program manager.



Gary Galovich (541) 757-4186, ext. 244
Steve Mamoyac (541) 757-4186, ext. 249
Rick Swart (971) 673-6038

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