**EVENT DATE CORRECTION**
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, Calif. 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 February 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 Revegetation 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.
LADWP manages nearly 315,000 acres of mostly undeveloped land in the Eastern Sierra to protect that watershed that serves Los Angeles, and has followed a consistent policy of keeping the lands publicly available for recreation and other beneficial uses for over 100 years. Visit www.ladwp.com/aqueduct for more information about LADWP’s water policies and projects in the Eastern Sierra.