Second annual Fresno SalmonFest celebrates restoration of the San Joaquin River


November 8, 2014

Contact: Steve Thao, Trout Unlimited (559) 709-5948,

Dave Koehler, SJR Parkway and Conservation Trust (559) 978-1294,

Second annual Fresno SalmonFest celebrates restoration of the San Joaquin River

FRESNO Trout Unlimited and the San Joaquin River Partnership announced today that more than 500 people turned out for the second annual Fresno SalmonFest, held at Lost Lake Recreation Area on November 8, and proclaimed the event successful.

The SalmonFest celebrated progress in restoring the San Joaquin River and its once-prolific salmon runs.

In a time when people, especially our youth, are increasingly disconnected from the outdoors, SalmonFest helps people connect to the river and appreciate the many benefits it provides for this community, said Steve Thao, San Joaquin Valley Outreach Coordinator for Trout Unlimited and the chief organizer of SalmonFest.

Restoring a river like the San Joaquin takes years, Thao added. But we have already made real progress in making the river healthier and better for both salmon and people.

The SalmonFest opened with a 5K race event and offered casting instruction, education about the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, and numerous activities that appealed to the many young people in attendance. The highlight for many participants was the large mobile fish tank hosted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that offered close-up views of Chinook salmon.

The Central Sierra Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Roosevelt High School Bass Club, the Fresno Fly Fishers for Conservation, the Center for Multicultural Cooperation, and Marketing students from Fresno State University all provided volunteer support for the event.

Prior to construction of Friant Dam in 1942, the San Joaquin River hosted one of the largest runs of spring-run salmon on the west coast. SalmonFest organizers said the river restoration effort and having salmon back in the river would bring economic and recreational benefits to the Fresno area.

Fred Ramirez, owner of Central Sierra Fly Fishing guide service and director of the Central Sierra chapter of Trout Unlimited, said The San Joaquin is a great river for fishing and other recreation. The whole Valley will benefit from the river restoration and having salmon back in it.


Trout Unlimited is Americas largest and oldest sportsmens organization dedicated to cold water fish conservation, with 150,000 members nationwide. The San Joaquin River Partnership is a collaboration of 15 private, non-profit organizations In Support of a Living River and a Vibrant Central Valley. For information on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, see