The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a Family Fishing event Saturday, Sept. 22 at St. Louis Ponds from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. ODFW staff and volunteer instructors will be on site to hand out loaner rods, reels, tackle, and bait and provide instruction to youngsters who need assistance.
“We’ve got a big day planned and invite everyone to come out and join us for a fun day of fishing,” said Jeff Fulop, ODFW fish biologist in charge of the event. This is the last of several family events at the St. Louis Ponds this year.
St. Louis Ponds is a 260-acre open space owned by ODFW and Marion County Parks. The central portion of this site is a fishing park that boasts seven ponds stocked with a variety of warm water fish and, on a seasonal basis, stocked rainbow trout. The facility is open year-around, although the gate to the road accessing the ponds is closed from Oct. 1 to March 1 each year. During the late fall and through the winter, anglers who want to access the ponds must walk in approximately one mile.
The Family Fishing event on Sept. 22 is the last of several family events ODFW hosted at St. Louis Ponds this year. This event will give the public the opportunity to see some new improvements that have been made at the complex recently. In August, two new disabled angler-accessible fishing platforms and paved footpaths were completed, and two more fishing structures are planned for later in the fall. These and other improvements were funded by grants from ODFW’s Restoration and Enhancement (R&E) Program and Oregon Wildlife, a non-profit foundation that provides funding for fish, wildlife, and habitat improvement projects throughout Oregon.
Under the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, anglers ages 13 and under are permitted to fish for free while those 14-17 must have a juvenile angling license in their possession. Juvenile fishing licenses are available for $9 at ODFW field offices and license outlets. Licenses will not be sold on site the day of the event.
St. Louis Ponds fishing park 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.
Image courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife