Chamber delays Blake Jones Trout Derby

Register Staff
Staff Writer

After careful consideration, the board of directors of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce has decided to postpone the Blake Jones Trout Derby that was slated for March 13.

Historically, the derby draws nearly 1,000 anglers from near and far to fish Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Owens River near Bishop. Since large gatherings may still not be deemed safe in March, some people suggested converting to a cyber event with online registration and virtual fish check-ins. While it could be possible to hold a contest with those modifications, event organizers opted to postpone to a time that would more likely allow for the well-attended weigh-in and awards ceremony.

“We are hopeful that by mid to late summer it will be safe to gather and celebrate the long-standing traditions of the Blake Jones Derby,” noted Chamber Event Coordinator April Leeson. No new date has been selected yet. As soon as a new date is chosen, it will be posted on and the chamber’s social media platforms.

Last year as pandemic precautionary measures began being put in place, the Blake Jones Trout Derby saw significant changes, including canceling the weigh-in and the awards ceremony. The traditional event has had a rough going in the last few years with the derby being cancelled altogether in 2017 because of epic amounts of snow in the mountains and the water run-off that came with it. The Blake Jones Trout Derby has been celebrated in the Eastern Sierra for more than 50 years and has drawn generation upon generation of anglers to the area. Blake Jones, the angler, introduced the convenience and staying power of modern cheese baits like PowerBait and was known for promoting the area’s fishing attractions.