By Zach Widner, Northwest States Senior Manager
On May 26, the Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a free youth fishing derby at the Oregon State Capitol Mall in Salem.
Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Sherrie Sprenger and Brad Witt, representatives from numerous sportsmen’s organizations, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, provided equipment and helped educate participants on how recreational fishing supports conservation.
The event was well-attended by local youth, who fished for rainbow trout in a pool on the Oregon Capitol lawn. Among the skills passed on from volunteers to kids were how to:
Rep. Sprenger, chief organizer of the event, noted “The Oregon Sportsmen’s Caucus was thrilled to host our first youth fishing derby. We learned that this was the first time fishing for most of the kids who participated today, and hope that this will serve as a springboard for a lifetime passion for fishing and all the great outdoor opportunities that Oregon has to offer. I would like to offer a sincere thanks to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Desert Springs Trout Farm, and all of the other organizations who helped make this event possible, as there’s no way we could’ve hosted such a great event without their support.”
Groups that supported and assisted with the event included the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, B.A.S.S. Oregon, Coastal Conservation Association-Oregon, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Desert Springs Trout Farm, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Outdoor Council, and Trout Unlimited.
A participant shows off his catch at the youth fishing derby.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?