Free fishing June 12-13

During Free Fishing Weekend, June 12-13, Oregonian’s can fish, crab and clam for free. Events throughout southwestern Oregon can help parents introduce their children to the joy of fishing with help from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists and volunteers.

During Free Fishing Weekend, fishing licenses and tags are not required, although all other regulations apply including bag limit and size restrictions. People who already have a combined tag for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and halibut are required to use it.

Following are events taking place throughout southwestern Oregon. All dates are Saturday, June 12 unless noted:

Coos County:
-          Eel Lake at Tugman State Park, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. At a series of stations, kids will learn how to id fish, tie knots, and cast along with fishing courtesy and water safety. There is a free lunch, gift bag of fishing tackle and the chance to catch trout out of a net pen.

-          Powers County Park, 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. The 20th annual kids fishing derby is open to all kids 16 and younger. There are prizes for largest fish in several age categories and young anglers will get something to take home. Call the Powers Ranger District for information, 541-439-6200.

Curry County:
-         Libby Pond, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. This event for kids 13 and younger features food, loaner fishing equipment and gear, and a fishing derby with prizes.

-         Elk River Hatchery, June 12 and June 13 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days. More information: David Chambers, 541-332-7025.

Douglas County:
-          Cooper Creek, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This popular event has a kiddie pond for kids ages two to eight. There will be fly tying and casting lessons, loaner rods and reels, and a fish cleaning station. Once kids go through an education station, they get a ticket for raffle drawings. Free hot dogs and Pepsi are provided.

-          Diamond Lake, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will be prizes for kids and help for new anglers.

-         Herbert’s Pond, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. ODFW is stocking 500 legal-size trout just prior to Free Fishing Weekend. Prizes, bait supplies and help for first-time anglers are featured at this event for kids 16 and under

-          Lake Marie, Sunday, June 13, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. This event is for kids 14 and under. Rods and reels will be available, along with help for first-time anglers. Kids can enter a casting contest and receive a bounty for picking up litter. The hot dogs and soda are free to kids, and a nominal charge for adults will help pay for next year’s event.

-         Disabled kids event at Bowman Pond – 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. This event, usually held at Rock Creek Hatchery, is only for disabled kids 18 and under by invitation or contact made with the hatchery. Parents should call Marc Garst at 541-496-3484 to reserve a spot. Bait and fishing equipment will be provided, along with a complimentary lunch for the entire family.

Jackson County:
-          Butte Falls Fish Hatchery, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event is for kids 12 and under. The fishing pond will be stocked with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and about 150 three-pounders, and the kids can keep up to five total fish, two of which can be 16 inches and over. There will be loaner equipment and bait available.

-         Expo Ponds, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Parent supervision is required. Rods and reels will be available for loan and bait is provided, along with help for beginning anglers.

-          Hyatt Lake, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This popular event features free camping Friday and Saturday nights and free breakfast Saturday from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. Rods and reels can be borrowed and the bait is free. The BLM, Hyatt Resort and United Hunters & Sportsmen will provide boat rides. Kids can also paint fish to create a free fish print t-shirts.

-         Lost Creek Lake, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. This event has prizes for largest fish, free bait, and limited loaner rods and reels. Information: 541-560-3334.

Josephine County:
-          Lake Selmac, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event at the Trout Shelter by the boat ramp is for kids 16 and younger. There will be help for new anglers, free bait and loaner rods, and kids can make a fish print. A Coast Guard cruiser will be on display and kids have a chance to win prizes.

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