This small pond neighbors a federal penitentiary, and it’s a great place to put the cuffs on some hatchery rainbow trout if you come at the right season.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife typically stocks the 2.5-acre Sheridan Pond with trout at least once a month (and often more than that) beginning in the winter and continuing through much of spring.
The winter stockings, especially when they happen to line up with a break in the weather, provide a nice opportunity to catch trout when many waters are either closed or slow for fishing.
A fair number of the fish planted here can be the “trophy” size, which are considerably larger than the pan-sized legals stocked in the greatest volume around Oregon.
The water here gets too warm to sustain trout through the summer months, and most of them get caught out quickly anyway. It’s ideal to plan your trip within a few days after each scheduled stocking. Use the link below to find the schedule on ODFW’s website.
The usual tactics will catch fish here. Natural and artificial baits are always a safe bet with hatchery trout. We can guarantee lots of anglers will come with their PowerBait. Casting lures and flies will fool them as well. (More detail: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.)
Bank access is excellent here and there are modest facilities including a restroom for day use anglers in Sheridan’s Southside Park.
The pond sits just outside (on the north side of the fence) of the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution. Regular anglers report being able to see inmates on the grounds and hear the intercom system.
Sheridan Pond is just south of Highway 18, across the highway from the main part of Sheridan.
To get there, use Exit 33 from the highway to get to Balston Road. Roughly a quarter mile south of the highway, turn left (east) on a gravel access road taking you about a quarter mile to the pond.
(You’ll pass a less-developed pond on your left closer to Ralston, but keep going to the end of the gravel road at the pond in the obvious park setting.)
Figure about a 15-minue drive southwest of McMinnville or a little more than a half hour coming from Salem. Portlanders will spend closer to an hour on the road to reach the pond.
Another nearby fishery, Huddleston Pond in Willamina just west of Sheridan, also is regularly stocked with trout and also has a modest fishery for bass and panfish.