Spring has certainly arrived! You can see it at every turn; brilliant sunshine, a new flush of green leaves across the Willamette Valley hillsides and at area lakes and ponds, anglers casting their lures or baits for rainbow trout.

If there is a better way to spend the day than fishing with your family or friends, I surely don’t know where or when. You see trout fishing is contagious!

There are a couple dozen experts and volunteers who recently helped put kids in touch with fishing at the ponds through ODFW’s Youth Fishing Clinic (pdf). It’s a perfect setting for folks who don’t know much about rods, reels, and the varied lures or baits that trout prefer to bite. The experts provide all of that and more – they even stock the lakes with legal-sized trout for the young anglers to catch. And, all of it is free!

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks more than one million catchable trout at 96 locations in northwest Oregon. There are scores of area lakes and ponds where the trout fishing is close to home and easy to find. For example, Canby Pond in Clackamas County is stocked year round and it is open to kids, 17 and under or disabled anglers too.

In Washington County, be sure to check out Bethany Pond, just outside the Beaverton suburbs for another favorite year-round site. That holds true for Commonwealth Lake in Beaverton too. It offers a neighborhood park that’s kid friendly and ADA-accessible and it is a delightful stop for a picnic lunch as well.

If you’re casting about for larger lakes to wet a line, Henry Hagg Lake and Scoggins Valley Park is a delightful destination where trout fishing along the shore or from a boat is most popular pastime. More than a hundred thousand rainbow trout are planted in Hagg Lake each year.

Ashley Massey is a life vest expert with the Oregon State Marine Board who leads her kids by example: she always wears a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) and she reminded parents that kids 12 and under must wear a PFD whenever they’re on the water. Massey advised that parents should “read the label” when they shop for life vests and make certain that the ones they choose are marked “US Coast Guard Approved” and that they are suitable for the activities that they choose to do.

There are two outstanding resource guides that are published by the Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife for folks who want to learn more about trout fishing that’s close to the Portland area. ODFW’s “Outdoor Calendar” lists all of the youth angling events by dates and locations – plus, the “50 Places to Go Fishing 60 Minutes From Portland” is a superb resource that provides directions to all of the local lakes and ponds where trout fishing is available. You can pick up a free copy of each at any ODFW District Office or visitor center or online too.

In addition, be sure to go to Boat Oregon for all of the details and information about boating resources across Oregon.

Editor’s Note: Grant’s Getaways is a production of Travel Oregon brought to you in association with Oregon State Parks, Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife and Oregon State Marine Board. Episodes air Fridays and Saturdays on KGW Newschannel 8 and Saturdays on Northwest Cable News Network.

About the Author: Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.

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