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Trout stocking just starting in Southern Oregon

When is trout stocking going to get rolling in Southern Oregon? The recent warm weather has me jazzed about spring fishing, but it never gets good until the stocking trucks roll.

— Matt, email submission

Well, Matt, it’s pretty early in the year and many of the most popular lakes in Southern Oregon are iced over, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s spring stocking schedule is out.

And if you want to follow the trout-stocking truck to that rainbow pot of gold, you can get rolling now.

This weekend is the first Free Fishing Weekend of the year, when anyone in Oregon can fish, crab or chase shellfish without any licenses or tags necessary. That runs through Sunday.

The first rainbow trout stockings of the year happened this past week in Josephine County, with Lake Selmac near Selma getting 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and Reinhart Pond in Grants Pass getting 300 legal-sized rainbows.

Those water bodies are usually the first to get trout because they are shallow and warm faster than most.

The first stocking in Jackson County is planned at Expo Pond, which is scheduled to get 1,500 legal-sized rainbows during the first week in March.

Lost Creek Lake gets its first big dumping of rainbows during the week of March 16, when it gets 20,000 legal-sized rainbows, and they are usually split between the Lost Creek Lake Marina and the Takelma boat ramp.

Most of the other Jackson County lakes don’t get stocked until April, ODFW records show.

Legal-sized trout are 8 inches long or slightly longer, and you can keep up to five of those a day. If you’re lucky to catch a big one in these lakes, you can keep one trout 20 inches or longer as part of that five-fish daily limit.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.