The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is making it easier than ever for kids 17 years of age and younger to discover the joy of fishing.
ODFW recently opened equipment lending libraries at four locations along the Oregon coast where kids have access to everything they need to get started in recreational fishing. Each library is stocked with rods and reels that can be checked out for up to two weeks, plus starter tackle kits that are the kids’ to keep. Each library also has five practice poles that are designed for indoor or outdoor casting practice by younger anglers. These poles are outfitted with rubber casting plugs that are used to reel in plastic fish that are also available at the fishing libraries.
The libraries are also stocked with free informational materials including the ODFW publication Easy Angling Oregon as well as Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation books, Oregon’s common salmon and trout identification cards, and instructions on how to clean and keep your catch. Funding for the new lending libraries was provided by ODFW’s Salmon and Trout Advisory Committee.
“We don’t want the lack of equipment to be a barrier to any child who wants to go fishing,” said Christine Clapp, ODFW fish biologist in Newport. “I hope these youth fishing libraries will help recruit a new generation of anglers and inspire kids and their parents to get outside.”
Youth fishing equipment libraries are located at the following locations:
- Driftwood Library, 801 SW Hwy 101 #201, Lincoln City, 541-996-2277
- Newport Recreation Center, 25 Southeast Avery Street, Newport, 541-265-7783
- Neighbors for Kids, 634 SE Hwy 101, Depoe Bay, 541-765-8990
- Yachats Youth and Family Activities Program, 441 Highway 101 (Yachats Commons), Yachats, 541-547-4599
Clapp recommends that persons interested in borrowing equipment from one of the fishing equipment libraries call ahead for hours and availability. First time participants must be registered by a parent or guardian with a valid driver’s license, state issued identification card or library card. Equipment check-out to pre-registered youth can be done without the accompaniment of a parent or guardian.
As a reminder, children under the age of 14 do not need an angling license to go fishing in Oregon. However, youth 14-17 years of age must have a valid juvenile fishing license, which can be purchased for $9 from any ODFW agent. For more information call Christine Clapp at 541-265-8306 ext. 253.
Image courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife