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Feature Article: Blake Jones Trout Derby

50th Anniversary Blake Jones Trout Derby a go despite fire damage

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Mar 14, 2018

LADWP asks anglers to avoid areas damaged by recent fire, Derby organizers remind participants event headquarters will be at Tri-County Fairgrounds, not Pleasant Valley Reservoir

BISHOP — With the biggest pre-season fishing event in the Eastern Sierra just around the corner, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) welcomes anglers back to Pleasant Valley Reservoir north of Bishop for the Blake Jones Trout Derby on March 17. LADWP urges the public to avoid sensitive ecological areas by using only existing roads and access points in areas burned by the recent Pleasant Fire.

“We are very pleased to welcome fishing enthusiasts to the 2018 Blake Jones Trout Derby this spring. It’s a great event that draws scores of people who can enjoy the Valley’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities,” said Anselmo G. Collins, LADWP Director of Water Operations. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Derby, which was forced to be cancelled last year because of the unprecedented winter snowpack and extreme runoff conditions.

In light of the Pleasant Fire, which burned over 2,000 acres in the vicinity of Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Owens River and was officially contained on Feb. 25, LADWP is asking the public to help protect natural resources by avoiding sensitive off-road areas affected by the fire.

“All established fishing spots at the reservoir and along the Owens River will remain open for fishing. We are just asking folks to be mindful of the damaged areas by staying on existing roads and using only established walk-through access points,” Collins said. The preventive measures are necessary to protect the water quality, habitat, biodiversity, threatened or endangered species of the watershed as well as potential tribal artifacts.

Signs designating the closed restoration areas and asking the public to stay on existing roads will be posted on roads south of the Owens River, including Riverside Road, Brockman Lane, Bishop Creek Canal Road, and Five Bridges Road. Affected areas include the Old Five Bridges Road, the Five Bridges Re-vegetation Area as well as areas accessible from the Bishop Creek Canal dirt roads. Access to the north side of Owens River along Chalk Bluff Road will not be changed.

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Fishing during the derby is allowed in the reservoir and along the Owens River (avoid barbless, catch & release area below PVR campground.) Loads of trout are planted just before the derby by both Desert Springs Trout Farm and the DFW. You can enter your catch in any number of categories including “Blind Bogey” for a chance to win your part of over $10,000 in prizes including high quality rod & reel combos, float tubes, custom lures, lodging, dinners and other goodies from local merchants and friends of the Bishop Chamber.

Registration, check in weigh in and awards will be at Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop. Fees are $20 for adults and $10 per child, and fish must be weighed in by 3 p.m.


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