- Phil Hawkins
- Woodburn Independent - Features
Fishing event draws young, old to St. Louis Ponds near Gervais for a chance to land rainbow trout
Local anglers both young and old populated the banks of the St. Louis Ponds Saturday to take part in the last family fishing event of the season at the fishing park located west of Gervais.
Sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the event brought a close to the summer fishing season at the ponds by inviting guests to catch one of the 2,000 rainbow trout that were stocked in parks sixth pond specifically for the weekend.
It was the third fishing event of the summer, said Jeff Fulop, a department fish biologist who helped organize the event. Although the event reached out to younger anglers by providing free gear, bait and expertise courtesy of the ODFW and the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Fulop said they opted to make the event one that catered to fishing enthusiasts of all ages.
We went with a different direction and said why youth only? said Fulop. Why not everybody?
Although the St. Louis Ponds are open to fishing year round, gate access to the park is closed from October through February each year.
The event opened at 9 a.m. and drew more than 70 people within the first hour, as anglers opted to brave the intermittent rains that peppered the Willamette Valley Saturday. Fulop said the fishing event that was held earlier in the summer attracted more people, but considering the weather and the time of year, Saturdays event was a success.
The St. Louis Ponds were commissioned in 1976 on 21 acres of a 260-acre parcel of land that was purchased and developed to provide public warmwater fishing opportunities.
The site is a network of seven ponds stocked with trout, bass and other warmwater fish. It is owned and managed by ODFW and Marion County Parks, which have combined to upgrade the area in recent years to make it more accessible and friendly to the public.
The event also highlighted the completion of two accessible fishing platforms and paved footpaths that were completed in August thanks to grants from ODFW and OWHF. Last year, the ponds added fishing platforms on the banks of Pond 6, two floating docks and 875 feet of paved footpaths to connect with the 2,300-foot paved path around Pond 3.
For more information on the St. Louis Ponds, go to www.co.marion.or.us.