Early Open derby starts fishing season
J.T. Massey holds up the biggest “other fish” caught during the Shiver at the River event April 20. He won $20 for his catch. Photo submitted
The inaugural “Shiver at the River” fundraiser was held Saturday, April 20, in Portola. It was accompanied by an additional inaugural happening: the Early Open Fish Derby, which saw anglers trying their favorite techniques up and down the Middle Fork Feather River from Rocky Point east of town to Delleker.
The weather was perfect, and ticket-holders hit the waters as early as the 6 a.m. start. A week earlier, Plumas County Fish and Game Commission had paired with Portola High teacher Dave Valle and planted a truckload of brood stock from the Feather River College hatchery program.
Big fish and happy anglers combined for a successful day. John Carr took home the $100 first prize for largest trout, with a 3-pound, 9-ounce beauty, while Zeb Kelton won $100 for largest bass. The bass wasn’t nearly as big as some of the “lunkers” that came out of the Middle Fork last year, but most bass weren’t rising to bait or lures in the chilly waters, and Kelton was able to land one in spite of it.
J.T. Massey won the $20 prize for biggest “other” fish, with a 4-pound squawfish. Graeagle resident Wes Holston won the consolation drawing and was presented with a “tournament tested” lure to get him ready for next year.
The prize money was donated by the Plumas County Fish and Game Commission and organizers thank the commission and the Feather River College hatchery.
“What does this mean for river fishing in Portola this spring and summer?” they ask. “Big fish and big fun!”
Money raised through ticket sales for the event go to help fund this summer’s music during Railroad Days.