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Fishing event at St. Louis Ponds reset for Oct. 11

September 23, 2014

Millicoma dace sampling
Savannah Partridge of Albany with her first fish, caught at a family fishing event hosted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — Family fishing returns to the Willamette Valley on Saturday, Oct. 11 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts a free fishing event at St. Louis Ponds near Woodburn from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Originally scheduled for Sept. 27, ODFW biologists decided to postpone the event by two weeks due to prolonged warm, dry weather that increased water temperature beyond what is safe for stocking of trout. Biologists also want to take advantage of forecasted cooler temperatures and better fishing conditions that are expected to occur over the next two weeks.

“Fall is a great time to get out and do some trout fishing in the Willamette Valley,” said Jeff Fulop, fishing event coordinator for ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed District. “However, after a couple weeks of elevated temperatures we thought the fish would be more active if we gave the ponds an extra couple of weeks to cool.”

To ensure than everyone has an opportunity to catch fish, ODFW will release 1,700 rainbow trout, including 400 one-pounders, trucked to the site from Leaburg hatchery. The fish will likely be split between Ponds 1, 3 and 6, according to Fulop.

In addition to stocked trout, the ponds contain several species of resident warmwater fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, perch and sunfish.

“This is one of our most popular sites because anglers have their choice of several ponds and several fish species,” said Fulop. “It’s really set up with families in mind.”

St. Louis Ponds is a 54-acre complex of seven ponds jointly owned and managed by ODFW and Marion County Parks. ODFW considers this a premium family fishing venue because it is centrally located to the Willamette Valley and provides easy access to several ponds via ADA-accessible trails and ADA-accessible fishing platforms.

ODFW will provide everything people need to go fishing – rods, reels, tackle and bait, on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Experienced instructors will be on site to answer questions, help participants set up their gear, demonstrate effective fishing techniques, and even take care of their catch.

People who want to bring their own fishing gear are welcome to do so.

This one of two free family fishing events scheduled in Oregon before the end of the year. The other is set for Saturday, Oct. 18 at Mt. Hood Pond, which is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham.

Some anglers will need a license and others won’t. Under Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, anglers ages 13 and under can fish for free without a license while those 14-17 will need to have a juvenile angling license, which are available for $9 at ODFW’s website (, offices and license agents. Adult anglers will need a regular or one-day license. Licenses will not be sold on site the day of the event so people planning to participate should get their licenses ahead of time.

St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of Interstate 5. To get to there from I-5, take the Woodburn exit. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to Gervais Road. Go west on Gervais Road through the town of Gervais. The road eventually changes to St Louis Road. Continue west on St Louis Road as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Road, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Road and follow the signs to the ponds.


Jeff Fulop (971) 673-6034 or Rick Swart (971) 673-6038

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