PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon’s first native trout fishing challenge is coming to rivers across the state in the spring of 2024.

Participants in the Oregon Native Trout Challenge must catch and release a native trout in each of Oregon’s eight eco-regions — including the Willamette Valley; West Cascades; Klamath Mountains; East Cascades; Columbia Plateau; coast range; Blue Mountains; and the Northern Basin and Range.

The fishing challenge was created by the Oregon non-profit Basalt to Breakers, which is sponsored by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation. The goal is to encourage anglers to explore new waters, celebrate Oregon’s trout fisheries, and support projects to conserve the species.

To join the challenge, participants must pay a $35 entry fee, which will go towards habitat restoration and trout conservation projects. The challenge will begin at the start of trout season in the spring of 2024. Additional details on the challenge will be released in early 2024.

Participants who complete the challenge will receive a certificate and swag, according to the Oregon Wildlife Foundation.

“We believe that advocacy begins with engagement,” said Basalt to Breaker Founder Max McCool. “Our challenge will encourage both new and experienced anglers to explore Oregon’s vast natural resources and interact firsthand with the species most in need of protection.”

Basalt to Breaker is also developing a platform to track trout population data from the catches, and is working on reducing barriers for new anglers altogether.

“We recognize that fishing can be an expensive activity that requires a wide variety of gear and as an organization, we are taking steps to lower the barrier of entry so that everyone will have an opportunity to engage with their local waters,” McCool said. “Advocacy is strongest by a diverse group of anglers. As we solidify our partnerships in the coming months, we will release more information on this objective.”