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Get your nightcrawlers ready for action

Trout season is here and one catch could be worth millions

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife<br><b>ODFW fish biologist Ben Walczak with one of the rainbow tagged with entries in Cabela's “Fish for Millions” contest. Anglers who catch one of these fish can redeem the tags at Cabela's for prizes up to $2 million.</b>
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
ODFW fish biologist Ben Walczak with one of the rainbow tagged with entries in Cabela's “Fish for Millions” contest. Anglers who catch one of these fish can redeem the tags at Cabela's for prizes up to $2 million.

May 23, 2013


(Ossie Bladine / News-Register)  The forecast looks like a damper for those looking to do some fishing during the Memorial Day Weekend. But those who brave the elements should be rewarded.

The late trout season begins Saturday and there are several local spots to set up camp.

Huddleston Pond in Willamina and Sheridan Pond were recently stocked with hundreds of rainbow trout. Huddleston also has habitat for bass and bluegill. It was dredged this week to clear the perimeter of weeds. "Fishing has been going off," according to one local angler.

Thousands of fish were released in the South Yamhill River, part of a program now in its fifth year.

"This is one of the few places we have in the Willamette Valley where people have a chance to catch some nice hatchery fish in a free-flowing river," Tom Murtagh, fish biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the News-Register last year.

It’s also one of the few rivers in Oregon stocked with trout.

"Through the 1980s and the early to the mid-'90s, a lot of rivers were stocked with trout," Murtagh said. "That practice faded when certain species became federally listed. To protect those fish, we pulled programs like this. But we are revisiting those programs when and where we can."

For anglers feeling lucky, a trip to Hagg Lake north of Gaston could turn into big money.

The “Fish for Millions” contest, sponsored by Cabela’s and wildlife agencies from approximately 21 states, is underway and continues through July 7. Rainbow trout were put into Hagg Lake and South Twin Lake in Deschutes County that are tagged with a small “spaghetti” tag. The anglers who catch these fish can claim prizes by entering the tag number and other information on Cabela’s website.

This is the third year Oregon has participated in the contest. Last year, tagged fish were placed in Crane Prairie and Blue River reservoirs, and more than 7,000 Oregon anglers participated in the contest. Seventeen anglers caught tagged fish.

Participants must register online at www.cabelas.com/fishformillions to be eligible for prizes - which include Ranger boats, a Chevy truck, Cabela’s shopping sprees and fishing gear, Costa sunglasses, Cabela’s gift cards and, of course, up to $2 million in cash for one very lucky angler.

Also noteworthy, June 1 and 2 are free fishing days - no license required. Click here for the ODFW Spring Fishing Guide for the Willamette Zone. Happy fishing!

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