Camping, fishing hot Memorial Weekend

Camping was full, and fish were biting Monday morning as many took advantage of a day off.

Sunnyside Campground filled up late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Anna Chandler, a Linn County Parks employee, said. The park’s 165 spaces stayed full through Monday morning as did Waterloo and Whitcomb Creek.

Everything in the area was full, Chandler said, forcing campers up Quartzville Road along Green Peter Reservoir.

The weekend was like July 4 weekend, according to Chandler’s boss, she said.

She hadn’t heard any complaints about Green Peter being low this year, and quite a few boaters took advantage of Foster Lake, which was full.

At Green Peter, Terry Clark of Corvallis thought the lower waterline was better for fishing in general.

Clark, with a Chihuahua named Pockets relaxing in his jacket, was up for the day with his daughter and son-in-law after spending Sunday fishing Dexter Reservoir.

Though he has caught his limit several times recently, he hadn’t caught anything himself Monda, but his companions were catching fish, and dozens of fishermen along the banks were reeling them in.

“I like to watch them catch the fish,” Clark said. “I don’t care if I catch anything or not.”

Mike Marquez and his daughter, Elizabeth, were having a bit of the luck Clark was talking about.

With a string full of trout in about five hours, they had to take off.

“We ran out of bait, or I’d still be out here,” Marquez said. The secret to fishing Green Peter is the bait, and it’s not anything fancy, just old-fashioned nightcrawlers. From one of his favorite spots, he aims his line at a speed limit sign on the dam when he casts.

Marquez has been fishing Foster and Green Peter for the last couple of weekends and had good luck.

“I’ve only been skunked once this year,” Marquez said. He came out one weekend recently, and the water level at Foster Lake raised about 15 feet. There were fish all over on the scanner, but they weren’t biting, and the temperature in the water changed fairly quickly.

“Fishing is just fun going out,” Marquez said. “If you catch a fish, you catch a fish. It’s just nice getting out.”

Fishing hasn’t been bad at all, he said. A friend from California came up for a visit and caught two 18-inch trout, a 17-inch trout and a 16-inch trout.

Marquez agreed that the lower lake level was good for fishing as long as anglers can get down the steep banks. He thinks Green Peter’s lake level will mean more boaters on Foster this summer, and camping on the shores of Green Peter will be more difficult with the steep banks.