Prizes will be awarded to fishing derby winners
LA QUINTA – Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park will be stocked with 1,500 pounds of catfish today, April 15, for the inaugural veterans fishing derby Saturday, April 17.
The first Veterans Fishing Derby will take place from 8 a.m. until noon at Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park, located at 58075 Jefferson Street in La Quinta. The derby registration begins at 8 a.m. At noon, there will be a flyover by the Palm Springs Air Museum and prizes will be presented to the derby winners.
Advance online registration is required by clicking here.
Organized by Supervisor Perez and the Fourth District Veterans Cabinet, the vision of the fishing derby is to start activities that benefit veterans at Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park and make the park a gathering point for veterans. Some veterans may be experiencing this park – the first park in the county park system named in honor of veterans – for their first time Saturday.
“Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park is a place of rest and relaxation for our veterans,” said Supervisor Perez. “Those who served, their families and friends will gather here to celebrate service, remember those who gave their lives in service to our country, and enjoy a morning of fishing. We also want to thank all our sponsors for their generosity and donations.”
The event is open to everyone, and the tournament fee as well as food and beverages available for purchase will benefit veterans’ organizations. Coming to fish and compete for prizes, or just visiting the park and buying something to eat, will support local veterans’ posts which have been struggling over the past year.
In a prepared statement, Steven Waggoner, Chair of the Fourth District Veterans Cabinet and Commander of the American Legion Herman Granados Post 739 in Indio, said, “Under the request of Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, the committee has worked hard to bring an outdoor event to the Coachella Valley. The fishing derby at Lake Cahuilla’s Veteran Park was organized to bring veterans and their families together for a fun and relaxed day at the lake.”
The event will emphasize pandemic safety and quagga mussel prevention. Capacity at the event is limited to 500 participants, following Riverside County Public Health guidance. For safety, physical distancing and face coverings when around others are required. Park district staff will inspect fishing equipment at the entrance and distribute materials on quagga mussel prevention.
The Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District has waived the park’s entry and fishing fee for veterans and military with ID for the day of the derby. Starting at 8 a.m., everyone competing in the derby will register at the registration table inside the park to get a wristband. General admission is $10 admission/fishing fee at the gate, plus a $5 tournament fee at the registration table. The fee for children 12 and under is $13 ($8 admission/fishing and $5 tournament fee). Veterans and military do not pay a tournament fee.
A state fishing license is required for all over the age of 16 to fish. The license is not sold at the park, but can be purchased at local retailers.
The Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District is stocking the lake with catfish, to be delivered Thursday, April 15. Fishing will not be allowed at the park on April 15 and April 16, which is customary prior to fishing derbies.
Prizes will be given in adult and children divisions for catfish, trout and other fish species. Prize‑winning fish will be determined by length.
In addition to registering online in advance by clicking here, attendees should plan on bringing cash for the tournament fee and any food and beverage purchases, sunblock and a hat or personal shade for the sunny weather, chairs (optional), their fishing gear and their fishing license, which is not sold at the park, and unopened bait. Attendees should remain hydrated throughout the day.
The fishing derby is hosted in partnership with the Riverside County Regional Park and Open‑Space District and the Coachella Valley Water District.
- Fishing Derby: Supervisor
- Catfish: Shutterstock