Orofino, Idaho — The Nez Perce Tribe will open the fishing season at Tunnel Pond with its annual Free Fishing Day event for the general public on Saturday, March 31, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.  A reduced limit of three fish per person for the Free Fishing, Opening Day event will be in effect.


Tunnel Pond is located one mile southeast of Orofino off of Lower Fords Creek Road.  In addition to providing a great fishing opportunity for the whole family, there is a good chance to view wildlife. The pond attracts deer, otter, and beaver as well as many bird species including bald eagles, ospreys, and many varieties of waterfowl.  Picnic tables are provided, encouraging visitors to relax and enjoy the outdoor experience and beauty of the Tunnel Pond site.


To reach Tunnel Pond follow the signs on Michigan Avenue to Main Street (turn right after the Conoco station), cross the railroad tracks then continue uphill to Lower Fords Creek Road (stay right at road fork), then to the gated gravel access road.  The pond is stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout with some larger fish weighing two pounds or more, carrying over from year to year.  


Following the free fishing day event, non-tribal anglers 14 years of age and older may purchase permits to fish at Tunnel Pond from area vendors. Permits may also be purchased online at www.nptfishpermits.com.  All children less than 14 years of age fish for free at Tunnel Pond but they must be accompanied by an adult (no permit required for the adult if they, themselves, do not fish). The daily fishing limit is six trout.  


Public use hours for Tunnel Pond are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days per week, with the access gate closed before and after these hours. The Tunnel Pond fishing season this year extends from March 31 through October 31.  The pond site is closed to the public before and after these dates.


For more information please contact the Nez Perce Tribe’s Department of Fisheries Resource Management, Trout Ponds Project Leader, Tod Sween at (208) 621-3582.