Expo Pond misses out on Free Fishing Weekend after scheduling conflict

A popular Rogue Valley angling venue is conspicuously absent from a list of Free Fishing Weekend events slated for this weekend, the first under a change in when Oregonians can fish, crab or dig clams without licenses.

A scheduling conflict at the Expo Ponds means the state-sponsored event there won't happen this year after 17 straight years at the Jackson County Expo Park.

The Expo already is hosting the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo and the 4-H Spring Fair and Lamb Show, two events planned there for the first Saturday in June. There was never previously a conflict with Free Fishing Weekend, which fell on the second weekend in June.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission last fall switched Free Fishing Weekend to the first weekend in June to coincide with Free Camping Day at the Oregon State Parks Department campgrounds, National Trails Day and other kickoff-to-summer events.

Chuck Fustish, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in charge of the Expo event, says he plans to work something out with Expo staff to see the event return in some fashion at the popular ponds in future years.

Other local lakes that have recently been sites for events have remained unchanged for this year, Fustish says.

Here are the planned activities in the Rogue Valley on Saturday for Free Fishing Weekend.

Jackson County

Fish Lake — 9 a.m. to noon. The U.S. Forest Service is sponsoring an event at the covered shelter near the boat ramp for those age 16 or younger. For more information, telephone 541-560-3400.

Lost Creek Lake Marina — 9 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by the Oregon State Parks Department, this event offers prizes, free bait and limited loaner rods and reels. Anglers are encouraged to bring their own gear. For more information, telephone 541-560-3334.

Hyatt Lake — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bureau of Land Management Campground and dock. Free camping is available Friday and Saturday nights, and breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. both days. For more information, telephone 541-618-2281.

Josephine County

Lake Selmac — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event sponsored by the Middle Rogue Steelheaders is held at the Trout Shelter by the boat ramp for kids age 16 and younger. There will be help for new anglers, free bait and loaner rods, and other activities.

Klamath County

Lake of the Woods — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lake of the Woods Resort Marina. Fifty rod and reel combos will be given away. Kids also can make their own cane poles.

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