Owens River Clean Up takes out the trash

2019 group shot of clean up crew

BRAVING THE COLD, volunteers gather to get the Owens River into a cleaner state. (All photos courtesy Chris Leonard)

Who doesn’t love it when anglers and others take care of their local waters?

Attendees of the fifth annual Owens River Clean Up woke up to a dusting of snowfall in
Bishop, California, on Saturday, Feb. 9. It didn’t however stop thirty-five brave,
hearty souls from meeting at the Pleasant Valley Campground at 8 a.m. for baked goods
and coffee. Event organizer Chris Leonard thanked the volunteers for showing up, and
handed them trash bags to divide and conquer the river for the morning.

clean up signage

The volunteers were about half local folk and half Southern Californians who traveled
north for the event. As usual, an assortment of various waste was removed from the
river. Everything from the usual spent beer cans, worm containers, and fishing line to
broken mirrors and rolls of carpet. The good news is that everyone agreed that the river
looked cleaner this year. In five years of an estimated 250 total people working four hours, that’s 1,000 hours of picking up trash since the inaugural clean up in 2015.

Next year’s event will be Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 – always the Saturday following
the Super Bowl. People interested in making donations for the raffle – or any inquiries —
can call Chris Leonard at 818.288.3271.

chris-leonard-with-all-trash-collected.jpeg

ORGANIZER CHRIS LEONARD ballyhoos the fact that this trash is headed for the dump, not downriver.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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Pack trash out … all the way out

ImageTramping through the San Gabriels today with my son was a wonder: we caught 16 trout, rainbows and browns, in a half-day’s work. I even foul-hooked a rainbow, which is certainly nothing to brag about, but was fun all the same.

But the point of this post is, please, don’t trash the wilderness. I walked through some brush, only to be snagged by old line that someone had left carelessly near a stream. Attached to it was an old-school wet fly, around a No. 4, so I guess I’m a fly richer, but that could have also tagged me in the eye. Not cool.

I also found a discarded spinning reel (!), more line at another part of the stream, and a Sports Chalet receipt that didn’t looked great against the wildflowers. I mean, come on, if we want to keep our resouces safe and sacred, we can’t treat them like a public toilet.

Remember: pack it in, pack it out.

And, if you are fishing in areas that don’t get stocked, please release your catch. One hole I’ve fished for many seasons with success contained only two small trout. I doubt that my other friends fell prey to cranes or other feathered pros. If you take out the fish, they are gone, Period. Once the fish are gone, what’s the point of our sport?

Sorry for the rant, but as you prepare to get out there for a fantastic season of fly fishing, let’s respect what we have. Please repost.

See you on the river, Jim Burns