The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife this week rolled out another interactive fishing map designed to help anglers find fishing locations all across Oregon.
The GoogleTM-based maps detail 349 locations around the state where ODFW releases millions of hatchery-reared trout for the enjoyment of the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who go trout fishing every year. The maps can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection and also work on smartphones.
The latest addition to the suite of online fishing maps is ODFW’s High Desert region map, which points to 88 stocking sites in central and southeast Oregon. Companion maps plotting stocked trout fisheries in ODFW’s Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast regions were unveiled last year and have received more than 400,000 online visits since that time.
The fishing maps can be accessed from ODFW’s website from links in several places, including the Trout Stocking Schedule, weekly Recreation Report and Where and How to Fish pages.
The fishing maps allow viewers to zoom in for a close-up of the sites in their choice of map, satellite and terrain view. Clicking on fish-and-hook-shaped icons at each location on the map opens a text balloon with site photos, links to nearby campgrounds and other points of interest. The boxes also include information about available fish species as well as links to ODFW’s weekly recreation report, trout stocking schedule and sport fishing regulations. The maps are capable of generating GPS coordinates and turn-by-turn driving directions to each site from any starting point.
“We are pleased to be able to roll out the last of these interactive maps in time for the opening of trout fishing season,” said Scott Patterson, ODFW fish propagation manager. “Figuring out where to go is an important factor in people’s ability to get out and participate in this activity, and these maps should make that process a lot easier and more convenient.”
The maps were developed by ODFW’s Information and Education Division, which has identified providing user-friendly information about access to hunting and fishing opportunities as a key to increasing participation in these activities. Previously, the department rolled out the highly acclaimed Google -based Wildlife Viewing Map and Oregon Hunting Map.
“We consistently hear that people want to know where they can go to fish, hunt or view wildlife. This is another tool to help them take advantage of the many opportunities Oregon has to offer,” said Roger Fuhrman, administrator of ODFW’sInformation and Education Division. Release of the High Desert region map coincides with the traditional opening of trout fishing season, which takes place on April 27 this year. “Oregon has many great places to fish. We hope people use these tools to get out and find them this year.”
Trout fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the state, according to a 2006 ODFW survey of licensed anglers. Of all the licensed anglers surveyed, 73 percent said they had fished for trout in the past year. That equates to approximately 420,000 anglers. Fuhrman noted that trout fishing is also important because it is where many youngsters get their start in what can become a lifetime of fishing enjoyment.
The economic impact of trout fishing in Oregon is huge, according to Fuhrman. A 2009 study for the agency by Dean Runyan and Associates estimated that the freshwater fishing contributed nearly $200 million to the state’s economy. While the study didn’t break sales down by fresh water species, which would also include salmon, steelhead and other types of fish, the economic impact of trout fishing on the state’s economy is a big piece of that revenue. The $4 million annual cost of the trout stocking program is covered primarily through the sale of Oregon fishing licenses and related federal funds.
Logo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife