Trout fishing for kids: No experience required

Trout fishing for kids: No experience required
Alex Ricker, 8, helps his sister, Ciara, 10, land a trout while fishing at St. Louis Ponds with their grandfather, Joe Ricker of Salem during a previous youth fishing event (photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife).

GRESHAM, Ore. - There's a well-known proverb that says 'give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.'

Well this Saturday, you and your family will have a chance to put that old saying into action.

That's because the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is hosting a free Family Fishing Day at Mt. Hood Pond in Gresham.

They'll have staff and volunteers on hand helping folks learn how to bait a hook, cast a rod and land a fish (the pond is stocked with trout). And the volunteers will even help clean your catch.

"A few simple techniques is all it takes to build the foundation for a lifetime of fishing enjoyment," said Jeff Fulop, supervising biologist for the event, which is hosted by ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed District. "This is a good opportunity to get out, pick up a few skills, enjoy a day on the water and maybe catch a few trout."

The event is one of several that ODFW holds throughout the state to get families out fishing. And you don't even need to worry about the gear - they will loan out rods, reels, and tackle - and provide the bait for you.

If You Go

The five-acre Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus at 26000 S.E. Stark Street in Gresham. This particular pond is restricted to youths 17 and under, as well as those with an Oregon Disabilities Fishing Permit, from April 1 through August 31.

Teenagers ages 14 to 17 must possess a Juvenile Angling License if they want to fish. The licenses will not be sold at the event, so you'll need to make sure they have one beforehand (they cost $9 and can be purchased from any ODFW office or license agent). Kids 13 and under are not required to have a license.

A look at the weather forecast for Saturday shows it'll be a little on the cool side with partly sunny skies.