Don't forget the 23rd annual Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce Isabella Lake Trout Derby this weekend, March 31-April 2. More than $250,000 is up for grabs for anglers managing to catch specially tagged trout worth from $50 to $20,000 each. The lucky angler wearing one of the Chamber of Commerce 2012 tee or hoodie sweaters and catching the specially marked $20,000 fish will double his award to $40,000. At least 10 tagged fish will also be worth $10,000 each, so don't miss this fun-filled event. Cost is $20 per angler and only $45 for a family. Contact Derby Headquarters (866) 578-4386 or (760) 379-5236. No entries will be accepted after 7 a.m. Saturday.

The popular event, known as the world's largest amateur trout derby, draws contestants from far and wide. Last year, some 6,700 people vied for the tagged fish swimming in the lake, each one worth from $50-to-$10,000 or more for a total payout of $250,000. The derby is sponsored by Berkely Fishing and Shakespeare products, as well as more than 100 local businesses.

More derby tricks for big bucks

Don't be afraid to check out the map at the Kern River Valley Trout Derby headquarters from time to time. Every time a tagged fish is brought into the Moose Lodge for payment certification, a sticker is placed at the approximate location where the fish was caught. Anglers can then connect the dots to show where most of the tagged trout are congregating and make adjustments to those locations.

The angler catching the longest trout caught will receive $1,000, but did you know that second, third and fourth places in that category will receive $500, $250 and $200 respectively? Make certain to have any fish over 16 inches officially measured.

BFRA Derby

Can't make it to the Isabella Trout Derby this weekend? Riverwalk Park Lake will be the site of the Bakersfield Firefighters Relief Association Trout Derby to be held from 6 a.m.-noon Saturday. Prizes will be awarded to six age groups for the largest trout and biggest combined stringer weight. Anglers need to sign up at the registration awning on the east end of the lake. Cost is $20 for adults, $10 for youths and free for children five and younger. The lake will be specially planted with a truckload of fighting rainbow trout.

Snake Avoidance Clinic for dogs

The recent warm spells finally hitting the Valley are beginning to spur local snake populations from hibernation, meaning rattlesnakes will soon be on the prowl. Robert Kettle of Fallon, Nev., a widely recognized expert in the field of snake avoidance training, will be hosting a Rattlesnake Avoidance Clinic on May 5-6 near Gorman at the Sporting Dogs B & B. Designed to ensure hunting and family dogs learn to avoid any contact with these dangerous reptiles and safely alert hunters and other dog owners to their immediate presence, the event is by appointment only. Contact Beth Worrell at (619) 997-6277 or at for more information on this clinic that could save your dog's life. Cost is only $65 for each animal.

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