Trout Fest returns to Kernville

Photos and Story by Catherine Stachowiak

The Kern River Conservancy held its newly revived Trout Fest at the Kernville Riverside Park, Saturday, April 27. 

Gary Ananian founder of the organization who organized the event said, “The Trout Fest is an event that we used to have at the Hatchery years ago. You may remember that the Hatchery closed; they kind of canceled the Trout Fest as well.  So I was able to get permission from Fish and Wildlife to bring it back.”

The event had about fifteen fishing related vendors at Riverside Park from 10am to 2pm that day. Along with tutorials and various workshops on fishing, the Fish Hatchery truck delivered 400 pounds of trout, for the kids to plant in the Kern River, according to Ananian. 

“Every hour on the hour there’s different workshops at different stations. They’re all free. Whether you want fly fishing or big fishing, there’s different types of fishing available,” he said.  

“So far it’s been a pretty good turn out,” said Bobby Alvarez, who organized the event with Ananian. “If you buy a rod you get a free clinic.” 

According to Ananian, who founded the conservancy 11 years ago, out of his love for the valley, it took him about three months to get everything situated planning Trout Fest. “Most of the vendors here, they’re veteran vendors. They do this all the time so they know the routine.” Ananian told the Kern Valley Sun that Alvarez did most of the work organizing it.

One of the vendors was Bureau of Land Management (BLM.) Sherman Warbington Engineer for type 3 out of Bakersfield and Bryan Diaz Ranger for the Bakersfield office manned the vending stand.  Werbington said, “We’re here representing the Bureau of Land Management. We’re just talking to folks about some of the programs we have.”

Diaz told Liz Mendia, from the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce, about statistics regarding visitors to the campsites the BLM offers the public. Then he told the Kern Valley Sun, “We have these maps because the event’s about fishing and we want to show the public the campgrounds and what’s available for the public to do in those campgrounds.”

He said Keysville you’re allowed to do recreational gold panning, within BLM’s boundaries and strictly with pans. BLM displayed their map for equestrian uses, hiking trails and fishing. “There’s more restrictions on Keysville South than North. So if you want to do all those events I recommend Keysville North.” 

They also have campgrounds at Walker Pass and Chimney Creek and Long Valley Camp Ground, which is a good place to not be disturbed.  The grounds are at no cost, except for a donation, and have restrooms, and parking is free at all those places.  “I do a lot of the outreach,” Diaz said, “It’s a good event to be out here with the locals,” he said.