A couple springs ago now, the boys and I were at Big Creek Reservoir No. 1 outside Newport, trying our luck for rainbow trout.
We were standing around their Vaeterchen‘s car watching our rod propped in the vee of a forked stick. When the tip would start to shake, I’d jump over the railing and set the hook as River and Kiran scrambled down the bank behind me to fight the fish.
Somehow, none of us fell into the lake.
It was a luxury that one of our fellow anglers that day couldn’t afford. Limited to a motorized wheelchair he fished off the edge of the road. Anything he hooked, he had to pull up through the grass.
I’ve seen him a couple times at the lake since then, and while he’s seemed unphased by the lack of access, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife today unveiled a new website that highlights the more than 100 sites across the state that are accessible to him and other folks with mobility issues.
It’s the latest in a series of Google-based maps that aim to get Oregon anglers to the fishes.
“There are many places around Oregon that offer excellent fishing opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Rick Hargrave, Administrator for ODFW’s Information and Education Division, in a press release. “We hope this map makes it easier for everyone – from the oldest adult to the youngest child and everyone in between, to get out and fish.”
This map features 133 sites. When you click on a location, a screen shows what sort of access to the water is available — ODFW warns that it does vary — and parking and bathroom situations.
“Many of the sites were designed to provide people with choices about the type of recreational experience and level of personal challenge they prefer,” he said, noting that all sites should be approached carefully and with assistance, if needed.