Vernonia - Young people interested in learning how to fish can find a great fishing opportunity Saturday at Vernonia Pond in Vernonia.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will stock more than 3,000 rainbow trout for the event as part of the new Youth Angling Enhancement Program. The department is also supplying rods and reels for use by young anglers who don't have their own fishing equipment.

The program was made possible through a $50,000 appropriation from the Oregon Legislature and a partnership with the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, which has pledged an additional $50,000 and is working with ODFW to develop and promote youth fishing opportunities throughout the state.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to the fun of fishing and encourage participation in outdoor recreation activities," said ODFW Director Lindsay Ball. "A lot of credit goes to the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation for all its hard work and financial contributions to help make this event possible."

Under Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, anglers 13 and younger can fish for free. A juvenile license is required for anglers ages 14 to 17. All other anglers must have an Oregon adult fishing license. All fishing regulations continue to apply.

"This is being done for kids, so while the standard fishing regulations will apply, we would like to ask adults to leave the fishing to the next generation for a few days," said Dan Van Dyke, ODFW biologist.

Other activities include casting contests, and fly fishing and fly tying demonstrations. A farmer's market and river run are also being planned by the City of Vernonia and Chamber of Commerce.

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