Clackamas, OR – Of the more than 6 million trout that are released into Oregon waters every year, by far the largest are the ones that will be released over the next two months in Willamette Valley lakes and ponds.
Starting next week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will release 238 of the nearly 3,000 super-sized brood trout that will be stocked at popular fishing holes from Eugene to Portland from now through the middle of January.
The fish are part of the trout rearing program at Roaring River Fish Hatchery near Scio, ODFW’s primary trout propagation facility. The brood stock – fish the hatchery uses for eggs – is comprised of 2-, 3- and 4-year-old trout used to produce the millions of smaller trout that are released at 96 Northwest Oregon locations from March through early December.
Although trout can continue to produce eggs for many years, at age four they reach what hatchery managers consider the point of diminishing returns, according to Tim Schamber, manager of Roaring River hatchery. So these fish are removed from the hatchery system and taken to local fishing holes to make room for the next generation of brood stock.
This year brood stock weighing from 3 to 18 pounds will be released at least nine and possibly more locations across the Willamette Valley. Venues tentatively scheduled to receiver brooders include Junction City Pond near Eugene, Waverly and Timber Linn lakes near Albany, Walter Wirth Lake and Walling Pond near Salem, St. Louis Ponds near Gervais, Sheridan Pond in Sheridan, Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove, and Mt. Hood Pond in Gresham.
The first batch of extra-large trout is headed to Henry Hagg Lake, St. Louis Pond #6 and Mt. Hood Pond sometime next week. Exact dates and release locations are subject to change based on staffing, weather, fish availability and other factors. For updates on brood stock releases, visit ODFW’s Willamette Zone recreation report on the Internet at www.dfw.state.or.us/RR/willamette. Updates are usually posted Wednesday afternoon.
“These are big, beautiful fish and should provide quite a thrill to anglers lucky enough to catch one,” said Tim Schamber, manager of the Roaring River hatchery.
Anglers targeting these fish are reminded that the bag limit on trout 20 inches or larger is one per day.
The $5 million cost of ODFW’s trout stocking program is funded through the sale of Oregon fishing licenses and a federal excise tax on the sale of fishing tackle. Trout fishing generates expenditures of more than $150 million in Oregon, according to figures from the 2006 national Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The ODFW trout hatchery program generates the vast majority of catchable trout in Oregon.