ROSEBURG, Ore. - It was free-fishing weekend in Oregon Saturday and Sunday, and a lot of people took advantage of it.
There were lots of kids events around the state and several of them in Douglas County. A big crowd turned out again this year at the Cooper Creek Reservoir near Sutherlin, for Free Fishing Day.
The event was put on by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife with help from several other agencies and many community sponsors that donated fishing equipment, prizes and food for the event.
There was a display of the O.D.F.W. fish tank, with fish that had all come from Cooper Creek. There were lots of events for the kids from fly-casting, to a small kids fishing pond, and even a wheel of knowledge, where you could qualify for prizes.
"The idea here at this event is that they don't need to bring any gear. We have rods, reels, and bait available to them, so all they need to do is show up. We have an educational component for today that kids can go through and hopefully learn something and get a prize," said Greg Huchko, a STEP (Salmon Trout Enhancement Project) Biologist with the O.D.F.W.
In southern Douglas County, at Herbert's Pond east of Canyonville, young anglers turned out for the 2010 Free Fishing Day that was dedicated to Denny Muir, the man who started the event more than two decades ago. Organizer Mena Reilly said thanks to him, it's grown into a big south Douglas County event.
"When Denny started it over 20 years ago, it was just a few people participating and now by noon the place is just packed with people and its all the kids fishing," said Reilly.
Reilly said the event has really turned into a community event with many of the businesses donating food and supplies, so people can come and have fun, and not spend a lot of money.