Million dollar fish released

Lucky Oregon angler could hook a million dollar fish
BY Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

There are now a million more good reasons to go fishing in Oregon this summer. That’s because one of three popular Oregon reservoirs could have a fish that’s worth a million bucks to the lucky angler who lands it.

Crane Prairie Reservoir in Deschutes County and Dexter and Blue River Reservoirs in Lane County have been selected as Oregon’s representatives in the “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions” contest sponsored by Cabela’s, the Outdoor Channel and fish and wildlife agencies from 19 states.

The contest starts May 5 and continues through July 8. Participants must register on-line at to be eligible for prizes.

Each of the participating water bodies have been stocked with eight to 15 trout tagged with a small “spaghetti” tag. The lucky anglers who catch these fish can claim their prizes by entering the tag number and other information on the Cabela’s website.

This is the second year Oregon has participated in the Wanna Go Fishing for Millions contest. Last year, tagged fish were placed in Henry Hagg and Detroit lakes and over 7,000 Oregon anglers participated in the contest. Seventeen anglers caught a tagged fish.

For ODFW, the contest is one more way to encourage families to get outside and go fishing, said Rhine Messmer, ODFW Recreational Fisheries Program manager.

This year, prizes include Ranger boats, Costa sunglasses, Rapala fishing tackle, Abu Garcia rods and reels, Cabela’s gift cards and, of course, up to $2 million in cash for one very lucky angler.

In addition to the chance to win prizes, anglers also have a chance to score a great day of fishing.

According to Brett Hodgson, ODFW fish biologist in Bend, fishing on Crane Prairie Reservoir has been on the upswing the last couple of years.

“We’ve made some changes in our stocking program, such as different stocks and bigger fish, that are starting to pay off,” he said. “Last weekend trout fishing was very good.”

Blue River Reservoir is in the McKenzie Recreational area and offers plenty of bank access in a picturesque setting.

And at Dexter Reservoir, about 20 miles east of Eugene, there’s plenty of access to good fishing thanks to a causeway that bisects the lake and a large fishing platform.

“It’s a great place to fish from, and to catch fish,” said Jeff Ziller, fish biologist in Springfield. “Who knows, maybe even a million dollar fish.”

All three locations are regularly stocked by ODFW and should provide great fishing well into the summer.

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