You won’t need a fishing license to toss a lure into an Oregon lake or stream this weekend.
The first of eight free fishing weekends is Saturday and Sunday, when residents can fish, crab and clam for free anywhere in Oregon without a license, tag or endorsement.
It’s good timing for those looking to lure a trout from a nearby lake, given 32 different bodies of water in the Willamette Valley are being stocked.
Detroit Lake and Foster Reservoir are being stocked for the first time this season, beginning the unofficial fishing season at two of Salem’s favorite fishing spots.
Here’s a breakdown of great places to fish from the recreation report, produced by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Reservoir elevation is about 11 feet below conservation pool, but now that storage season has started, reservoir levels will continue to rise throughout the spring.
The lake was set to be stocked with 18,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout this week, but anglers also have reported good catches of kokanee in the 12- to 13-inch range. Mongold boat ramp is available for launching boats.
Foster Reservoir was to be stocked this week with 10,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout. This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is 30 minutes from I-5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds and three seasonal boat ramps. At the moment, only the boat ramp at Sunnyside Park is available to launch boats.
St. Louis Ponds
The lake was stocked with 700 trout ranging in size from 8 to 14 inches this week. Trout also were released the previous week for a family fishing event, and some of those fish still may be available.
Timber Linn Lake
This is a family-friendly fishing pond within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was to be stocked this week with 275 legal size and larger hatchery rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20 inches may be taken per day.
Walter Wirth Lake
The lake will be stocked again this week with 2,250 hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five trout per day but only one over 20 inches. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park. Good fishing opportunities remain for warm-water species.
This Salem pond was set to be stocked this week with 450 hatchery trout. This is an 8-acre pond in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th streets, SE.
The pond was stocked this week with about 800 hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day but only one over 20 inches.