LaRiverFlyFishing gets 10,000th hit, celebrates by supporting wider access to the river

From top left, clockwise, the tranquility of carp-filled pools, at the beginning of Glendale Narrows. Once you get past the city locks, you can see self-shadows and nifty bridge architecture. (Jim Burns)

Dear Senator Kevin de Leon:

I strongly support the bill (SB 1201) that I understand would significantly widen access to the Los Angeles River.

The Los Angeles River is the whole reason I became an environmental and fly fishing blogger. I’d been assigned a story on carp fishing in the river by Richard Anderson, publisher of California Fly Fisher, a bi-monthly publication that is carefully read among the fly fishing community.  As I’d never actually been to the river, my first step was to find access to the water. This turned out to be no easy task, and I can still clearly remember driving around the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles with my son. We zigzagged through parking lots, truck depots and all manner of what seemed possible entrances, only to find dead-ends, walls and barbed wire fencing.

Finally, we found an entrance tucked almost invisibly between the I-5 freeway and  a golf course. I later learned that this entrance is known as Steelhead Park.

I spent weeks researching that first piece, gleaning lots of information about the river, its fish and its restricted access. For example, I learned that Griffith Park rangers as well as Los Angeles Police Department officers were charged with ticketing anyone who strayed off the bicycle paths. Obviously, those fishing were actually doing so illegally.

In a short two years, recreational access has increased, largely thanks to the work of river advocate George Wolfe, FOLAR, a mostly cooperative city, and a vastly changed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But we must go further.

When lives are not in danger from floodwaters, vast stretches of our 51-mile jewel should be open to the public. And, the public should be able to enjoy the access without the trepidation I first experienced.

Today, my blog www.lariverflyfishing.com reached its 10,000th hit, so I feel it is an apt celebration to make this letter to you public, in the hope that others will also write to you to support your efforts.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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5 thoughts on “LaRiverFlyFishing gets 10,000th hit, celebrates by supporting wider access to the river

  1. This gentle person is just a little tad off the mark. The LA River does not need more people out there ruining it. It needs to be cleaned up of all the trash and debris everywhere you look, it needs to have people living in the drains on its banks moved to a better, more secure place to live, it needs its wildlife to have a more secure place to live free from people who think its fun for their dogs and kids to harass them, it needs signage with the rules listed and information that is needed to contact emergency personnel-which should have been done before the river was opened for anyone to go there. The responsible things that should already have been done haven’t and before any thing else is done and uneeded legislation passed they need to be done.

  2. The reality is that in a metropolitan area of 10 million+ once easy access is granted the river will be overrun. So, I do support restricted access to specific areas of the river. Its important to restore and maintain the river and its natural habitat so that nature can recover from years of abuse.

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