SALEM Trout anglers have a new tool to find hot spots for the fish in Oregon.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife this week released an interactive fishing map that details 88 trout stocking sites in central and southeast Oregon. The Google-based map is the latest addition to the suite of online fishing maps that show ODFW releases millions of hatchery-reared trout.
The maps are available ODFWs website from links in multiple places, including the trout stocking schedule, weekly recreation report and Where and How to Fish pages. The agency last year unveiled companion maps for the northwest, southwest and northeast regions. Those mapes, according to ODFW, have received more than 400,000 online visits.
The fishing maps allow viewers to zoom in for a close-up and can show satellite and terrain views. Clicking on fish-and-hook-shaped icons on the map opens a text balloon with site photos, links to nearby campgrounds and other points of interest. The boxes also include information about available fish species as well as links to ODFWs weekly recreation report, trout stocking schedule and sport fishing regulations. The maps are capable of generating GPS coordinates and turn-by-turn driving directions to each site from any starting point.
Release of the High Desert region map coincides with the traditional opening of trout fishing season, which falls on April 27 this year. Roger Fuhrman, administrator of ODFWs Information and Education Division, said he hopes people use the maps to find places for fishing.
The division, which developed the maps, identified providing user-friendly information about access to hunting and fishing as a key to increasing participation. The division also rolled out the Google-based Wildlife Viewing Map and Oregon Hunting Map.
Trout fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the state, according to a 2006 ODFW survey of licensed anglers. Of all the licensed anglers surveyed, 73 percent said they fished for trout in the past year. That equates to about 420,000 anglers. Fuhrman also noted trout fishing is where many young anglers develop what can become a lifetime of fishing enjoyment.
And trout fishing has a big economic impact in Oregon, according to Fuhrman. A 2009 study for the agency estimated freshwater fishing contributed nearly $200 million to the states economy. While the study didnt break sales down by fresh water species, which would include salmon and steelhead, the economic impact of trout fishing on the states economy is a big piece of that revenue. The sale of Oregon fishing licenses and related federal funds covers most of the states $4 million annual cost of the trout stocking program.
For more information, visit ODFWs website at www.dfw.state.or.us.