A successful angling team at the 2014 San Joaquin River Fishing Derby.
The San Joaquin River used to host the fourth largest run of Chinook salmon on the West Coast. But construction of Friant Dam in the 1940s extirpated the fall and spring runs of salmon on California's second longest river.
Today, slowly but surely, Chinook salmon are coming back to the San Joaquin River, thanks to the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. Again this spring, state and federal resource agencies trapped juvenile salmon that hatched in the San Joaquin River in their historic spawning grounds near Fresno, California, and moved them by tanker-truck to the lower river, where they can make their way to the ocean.
For the past six years, Trout Unlimited has worked to support the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. A primary example of this support is the TU-sponsored annual Fishing Derby.
The Fishing Derby is a not-too-serious competition to catch the biggest bass and trout at Sycamore Island park, one of the many excellent places along the San Joaquin River where people can recreate.
The 2104 San Joaquin River Fishing Derby was wildly successful, attracting more than 350 participants on a fine spring day. Check out the new video of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI7FXlW7x0o&hd=1.
TU's San Joaquin Valley Outreach Coordinator Steve Thao said the Fishing Derby was started to help people learn about the variety of excellent recreational opportunities provided by the San Joaquin River near Fresno, especially for angling. “Many people don’t know that the San Joaquin River Restoration Program is improving and expanding fishing opportunities along the river,” said Thao. “We want to help people connect to the river and appreciate the many benefits the restoration effort is bringing to local communities.”
And here is TU's original blog post with the highlights of the 2014 San Joaquin River Fishing Derby: http://www.tu.org/blog-posts/2014-san-joaquin-river-fishing-derby-a-tremendous-success.