Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
STOCKTON FWO: A Ton of Fun At The Isleton Kids Fishing Derby
California-Nevada Offices , June 8, 2014
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A juvenile spotted bass captured during a seining demonstration.
A juvenile spotted bass captured during a seining demonstration. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Stockton Fish and Wildlife employees enjoying a moment between visitors of the Isleton Trout Bout.
Stockton Fish and Wildlife employees enjoying a moment between visitors of the Isleton Trout Bout. - Photo Credit: USFWS

By Jacob Osborne

An enthusiastic crowd converged on the Swepton residence in Isleton on Sunday, June 8 for the ninth annual Kids Fishing Derby. Affectionately known as the ‘Trout Bout’, the day featured a range of activities for young anglers, including an on-shore pool stocked with feisty trout, a bounce house for the truly energetic and a fishing competition held on the dock. It also provided a great opportunity for a few of us in the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office’s Delta Juvenile Fish Monitoring program to touch base with a local community and answer questions about the Delta’s fisheries.

We pitched our awning in the shade of a tree, set up our tables and displays and prepared ourselves for a rush of visitors. Fellow fisheries technician Mike and I added to the festivities by suiting up in our waders and giving demonstrations of beach seining. Over the course of the day we seined three times and caught eight different species of fish, including tule perch and splittail (both Delta natives), yellowfin goby and spotted bass. Many of those fish ended up in our tabletop aquarium, much to the delight of passersby!

A temporary tattoo station run by our data manager Angie was our most popular attraction by far. Visitors, both young and old had a choice of a tattoo of a salmon, one of our agency’s logo or a combination of as many of each as they wanted. Most chose just a single salmon, but several left sporting small schools on their arms and big grins on their faces.

The morning flew by in a blur of seining, answering questions about fish and applying temporary tattoos and before we knew it the event started to wind down. First lunch was served, and then the competition on the dock ended (the winning catch was an impressive 16” striped bass). Finally, prizes were awarded and families started to trickle out of the Swepton compound.

Some kids left with fresh fish from the morning’s battles with trout, some with a new bike or gift card won during the fishing competition, and undoubtedly one or two with ketchup and mustard stains from lunch. Most left with smiles and probably all will have happy memories and stories of a fine spring day in Isleton when they learned about one of our region’s finest forms of recreation.

Jake Osborne is a biological science technician (Fisheries) at the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office.

Contact Info: Jerrica Lewis, 209-334-2968 ext 338, Jerrica_Lewis@fws.gov
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