2016's Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife family and youth trout fishing events offer opportunities for young and old to learn how to fish.
This year's free fishing weekend is June 4 and 5, 2016. This is a great opportunity to introduce new anglers to the water.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks over 7 million trout each year for anglers to catch. You can find out when and where trout are being released on the department's trout stocking schedule.
ODFW hatchery stocking continues through the spring and into the summer, providing a great fishing opportunity for younger or inexperienced anglers.
A general Oregon Angling License is all that's required to fish for trout. Youth 12-17 years old need a juvenile angling license. The youth combination license is $10, and allows them to fish, hunt, crab and clam all year long. It also includes a Columbia River Endorsement, and you can add a youth combined angling tag for $5.
Non-resident youth licenses are $10 as well. ODFW also offers Oregon residents and visitors a weekend to fish, crab and clam without a license the first full weekend in June.
ODFW's "Family Fishing Days" events offer hosted fishing opportunities at stocked ponds throughout the state. The first of many Family Fishing Events kicks off March 19th at Devil's Lake near Lincoln City with other events occurring statewide through August. On-site ODFW staff and volunteers provide equipment, instruction on baiting hooks, casting, and landing their catch. Adults can get tips on basic rigging, fish identification and casting.
The programs provide a unique opportunity for families to learn how to fish together. Licenses are required for anyone 12 years and older, and are not available at the events. If you need a fishing license you may purchase one online.
You can view the ODFW Family Fishing Days event schedule here.
Bright dough baits, single eggs and worms fished just off the bottom or under a bobber are popular presentations, but there a number of spinners, spoons and other baits made for casting and retrieving that also work well. Most trout in shallow still-water ponds will be suspended within a foot or two off the bottom, so when you're casting lures, it's a good rule of thumb to allow them to sink for a few seconds before retrieving them. Try different depths to find the fish. The ODFW website has a great beginner's guide to trout fishing.
The stockings will periodically place different quantities of approximated sizes based on age. The three different size classifications for ODFW stocked rainbow trout are:
- Legals that range from 8"-10"
- Larger Trout 12"
- Pounders 14"
- Trophy Trout = 16"
Many trout waters in Oregon are open from the fourth Friday in April or May through Oct. 31. However, there are several lakes, rivers and streams that are open year round. ODFW has dedicated a lot of energy to making trout fishing available 365 days a year, providing ample opportunity for anglers to catch fish year round.
Easy Angling Oregon describes 101 fisheries throughout the state that have been selected especially for families and newcomers. You can find your way to a fishery near you through the following links:
- 50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Portland
- 50 places to go fishing within 90 minutes of Bend
- 50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Medford
- 50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg
Before you head out, you can get weekly updates on local fishing conditions from the ODFW Recreation Report.