Kern River Trout Fest

The Kern River Hatchery in Kernville will host its annual Trout Fest to coincide with the statewide trout opener, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. DFG will stock a minimum of an additional 10,000 pounds of trout into the Kern River just prior to the event.

"We are happy to be once again stocking the Kern River with trout," said Marvin Waters, manager of the Kern River Hatchery. "In this community, opening day is a great cause for celebration."

Admission to the Trout Fest and all related activities are free. This year's highlights include a Trout Derby, with prizes awarded to the anglers who catch the three largest trout (measured by weight), all-ages basic fishing clinics held at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. and fly fishing clinics for varying skill levels to be held throughout the day.

Kids can feed the fish in the raceways and try their hands (literally) at catching a trout in the Greased Trout Pond. Art activities will run continuously, including gyotaku, the traditional Japanese art of fish printing.

Pan-frying and grilling demonstrations will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., featuring free recipes and samples of foil-wrapped barbecued trout.

The Fishing and Natural History Museum, sponsored by the Friends of the Kern River Hatchery, will be open all day for guests to peruse the many collections of native plants and animals in the area and an exhibit featuring fishing tackle used by early anglers.

DFG will also feature its mobile hatchery exhibit, which consists of hatchery planting trucks filled with fingerling California golden trout, California's state fish.

The Kern River Hatchery is located at 14415 Sierra Highway in Kernville, across from Camp Owen, one mile north of the James Store.

"We hope everyone in the area has a chance to drop by to touch, feed and taste a rainbow trout," said Saul McGarity, interim president of the Friends of the Kern River Hatchery. "Trout Fest is a lot of fun for the whole family."

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