This year’s third annual Fishstock came with some success, despite some angry summer weather.
As the humidity rolled in Sunday night, a storm gathered overhead and forced a shutdown of the event to keep the bands safe from electrical hazards. The event ended about three hours early that night, cut short by heavy rain.
But the wet ending didn’t stop many attendees from having fun beforehand, and Saturday saw many happy visitors come and go.
Set up at the Kernville Rodeo Grounds, volunteers with the Friends of the Hatchery, the organization who puts on Fishstock, came out to rake and clean up the area before setting up the event’s many vendors. As the evenings went on and weather grew cooler, more visitors trickled in to enjoy the bands.
Bands playing included Alice Wallace, a country, folk and blues artist from Southern California; Grateful Bluegrass Boys, a string band that plays bluegrass covers of classic rock songs; Lady Zepp, and all-female Led Zeppelin cover band; The Might Cash Cats, a Johnny Cash tribute band; The Neil Deal, a Neil Young tribute band; and Creedence Concert Revival, a CCR tribute band. Unfortunately, some were cut short due to the unexpected storm.
Some visitors and vendors were unbothered by the hot and muggy weather. Congressional candidate for California’s 23rd district, Wendy Reed, came out to enjoy the festivities and was delighted with the bands.
“The music is good, the food is good and the people are great,” she said.
The Friends of the Hatchery put on Fishstock every year to raise money for the Kern River Fish Hatchery. The hatchery, managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) serves as a base for fish-planting, which draws many visitors to the Kern River. Fishstock funds also go towards the Trout in the Classroom program, which teaches children how to raise and care for trout, Special Needs Fishing Day, and many other programs and events that allow the Friends of the Hatchery to bring the joy of fishing to children and adults alike in the Kern River Valley.
Friends of the Hatchery President Patrick Fitzgerald did not have fundraising numbers available as of press time, but he counted the event a success.
“It was an extremely successful event. It was a great show, and we got a monsoon at the end,” said Fitzgerald.