SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) invites young anglers to take part in its Youth Angling Enhancement Program Saturday, April 11 at St. Louis Ponds from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and ODFW staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist youngsters who want to learn how to fish.
ODFW will stock the ponds with more than 1,300 rainbow trout, including more than 300 fish weighing 1-4 pounds. For added excitement, one extra large trout, a 20-pound fish from ODFW’s Roaring River Hatchery brood stock, will also be released.
“I’d love to see the look on some kid’s face if they caught that huge fish,” said Jeff Fulop, a fish biologist who coordinates youth events throughout ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed District.
ODFW will provide equipment including rods, reels and bait. Angling Education Instructors will present to answer questions and offer assistance to less experienced youth anglers.
“This is an excellent opportunity for kids to discover fishing,” said Fulop. “We’ll have plenty of experienced staff and anglers at the event to answer any questions and provide instruction.”
Under Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, anglers ages 13 and under can fish for free while those 14-17 will need to have a juvenile angling license. All fishing regulations continue to apply during this event.
St. Louis Ponds is a 54-acre complex of 7 ponds owned and managed by ODFW. Originally excavated by the Oregon Department of Transportation, the ponds were laid out in irregular shapes to provide seven miles of bank fishing. In addition to stocked trout, the ponds contain several species of warmwater fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and sunfish.
St. Louis Ponds are located 13 miles north of Salem and west of Interstate 5. To get to St. Louis Ponds 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. The event and booths will be staged at Pond #3 near the main parking area, and in easy walking distance to the other stocked ponds.