Million dollar fish released

By Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Fish for millions
ODFW fish biologist Ben Walczak with one of the rainbow tagged with entries in Cabela’s “Fish for Millions” contest. Anglers who catch one of these fish can redeem the tags at Cabela’s for prizes up to $2 million. The contest runs from May 4-July 7.

There are now a million more good reasons to go fishing in Oregon this summer. That’s because two popular Oregon lakes could have a fish that’s worth a couple million bucks to the lucky angler who lands it.
South Twin Lake in Deschutes County and Hagg Lake in Washington County have been selected as Oregon’s representatives in “Fish for Millions” contest sponsored by Cabela’s and wildlife agencies from approximately 21 states.

The contest starts May 4 and continues through July 7. Participants must register on-line at to be eligible for prizes.

Rainbow trout were put into Hagg Lake and South Twin Lake, all 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 third year Oregon has participated in the Fish for Millions contest. Last year, tagged fish were placed in Crane Prairie and Blue Rivers reservoirs, and more than 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 Mike Gauvin, ODFW recreational fisheries program manager.

This year, prizes include Ranger boats, a Chevy truck, Cabela’s shopping sprees and fishing gear, Costa sunglasses, 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 South Twin Lake was excellent on the opening weekend of trout season, and he expects fishing to continue to be good.

“Since the removal of bullhead catfish from the lake, the trout fishing has really improved,” he said. “I think it would be great if one of the big winners came from South Twin Lake.”

South Twin Lake is a 99-acre natural lake located within the Deschutes National Forest about 38 miles south of Bend.  It has approximately one and half miles of shoreline and a trail that encircles the lake and offers many opportunities for bank fishing. Non-motorized boats are also allowed on this lake.

Hagg Lake, is a 1,110-acre reservoir located about 25 miles southwest of Portland. It is open to both motorized and non-motorized boats and features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching. It was one of the original “Fish for Millions” venues when the contest first came to Oregon three years ago.

“Hagg Lake is one of Oregon’s premiere fisheries,” said Tom Murtagh, ODFW fish biologist in Clackamas. “We’re excited that it has again been selected for Cabela’s fishing contest.”

Both lakes are regularly stocked by ODFW and should provide great fishing well into the summer.

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