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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 08/01/14

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New guide helps anglers hook information

- Dick Mason

The Observer

Finding comprehensive information about trout angling sites in Northeast Oregon was once as time consuming as unraveling tangled fishing line.

Today it is as easy as flipping open the bail of a spinning reel.

The reason: a guide created by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Bob Becker. "Fish Stocking Guide to NE Oregon,'' available on the ODFW's website, is the most comprehensive the ODFW has for any region.

The report lists information on more than 55 lakes, ponds, reservoirs and streams that the ODFW stocks with trout each spring and summer.

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Stocked locales are listed under the following categories:

• The Grande Ronde Watershed

Information on 13 locations are provided including Grande Ronde Lake, Marr Pond in Enterprise and Jubilee Lake.

• The Powder and Burnt River Watershed

Details about 22 sites are provided. They include Twin Lake near Halfway and Thief Valley Reservoir.

• Umatilla River Watershed

Seven sites are described including Weston Pond and Hatrock Pond, 10 miles from Hermiston.

• John Day River Watershed

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Information is provided on 13 sites including Trout Farm Pond 15 miles southeast of Prairie City and Seventh Street Pond on the north side of John Day.

The website provides location information on each pond, reservoir and lake, its size and when it is usually stocked.

Becker writes, for example, that brook trout and crappie are also available at Morgan Lake, that Phillips Reservoir is a popular place for winter ice fishing and that camping accommodations are available at places like Balm Creek Reservoir 10 miles southeast of Medical Springs.

Becker was inspired to prepare the guide because he has received questions for years from anglers wanting to know about sites stocked with trout by the ODFW.

"It seemed like it would be a valuable tool to anglers paying for the fish,'' Becker said.

The ODFW pays for trout stocking with the help of money from the sale of fishing licenses.

Becker is in charge of the ODFW's Northeast Oregon stocking program so he has firsthand knowledge of the sites listed in the guide. The most difficult part of writing was providing directions to the sites. For at least a year before writing the guide, Becker kept meticulous notes on directions and mileage during stocking trips.

Becker also had members of his stocking crew record mileage information that he used while writing the guide.

The acreage of each stocked lake, reservoir and pond is listed in the guide. The acreages were determined with the aid of National Geographic topographic maps.

Few streams and rivers are listed because most are not stocked by the ODFW in Northeast Oregon. This is because they have salmon and steelhead runs. Stocked trout would interfere with the success of these runs.

To reach the "Fish Stocking Guide to NE Oregon," go to the ODFW's website at www.dfw.state.or.us and click on Fishing Resources.

 
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