Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3616 July 21- August 4 2017 - Page 16

16 July 21 - August 4, 2017 MAP FEATURE VOL.36 • ISS. 16 The Fishing in the City program stocked 2,000 pounds of channel catfish like this one in the Howe Community Park. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. Joe Ferreira Retires After 24 Years With Fishing In The City T he California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Fishing in the City” program, now in its twen- ty-fourth year in the Sacramento area, is the best and most needed project that the Department has ever initiated, in my opinion. Created to improve angling opportunities for the growing urban population in the nation’s most popu- lous and most diverse state, much of the success of the program is due to the hard work, persistence and good nature of Joe Ferreira, the coordinator of the Program in Sacramento since it started up at Southside Park in the summer of 1993. I was present at the Joe’s first fishing clinic at Southside - and I couldn’t miss his final day as coor- dinator. You see, after 39 years with the CDFW, Joe officially retired on Thursday, July 6. The Department, through a private contractor, planted 2,000 pounds of channel catfish in the Howe Park Pond in Sacramento. It was the most heavily attended Fishing in the City event I have personally been to for a number of reasons. First, it was on Free Fishing Day. Second, it was heavily publicized. And third, many volunteers and fishermen who have been with the program wanted to make sure they thanked Joe for his many years with CDFW. The program that Joe has coordi- nated has been offering fishing clinics, free rod and reel rentals and stocking rainbow trout and channel catfish ponds in close to home ponds in the Sacramento and Stockton metropol- itan areas. The program also serves the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. When introduced to Sacramen- to and Southern California in 1993, novices and veteran anglers welcomed it alike. Up until that time, young anglers generally were introduced to fishing by the parents and guardians, grandparents, other relatives and friends. If you didn’t have parents or friends that were experienced anglers, you were often out of luck. Even though Joe is leaving, the program is in good hands. Don Pagan- elli, a fishing guide who has been with Fishing in the City for many years, will be temporary coordinator of the program until the Department hires a permanent coordinator. “It has been a really good expe- rience working with the program,” said Joe. “It’s been a fun ride. Some people who fish the ponds also fish the Delta and other locations. But there are some people who just fish their neighborhood ponds – and this program offers them a chance to catch fish close to home.” After retiring, Joe will be making one final appearance at the Granite Regional Park Pond fishing clinic on August 12. “But I will be there as a civilian,” he joked. The fishing event will be a memorial to Tom Burruss, who passed away this year, and ran the event for years in conjunc- Joe Ferreira, the affable and beloved coordinator of the CDFW’s Fishing in the City program in Sacramento since 1993, retired on July 6. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. Daniel Vang holds up a channel catfish just caught out of the Howe Community Park Pond on the July 1, Free Fishing Day. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. tion with the Police Athletic League (PAL). A total of 2,000 pounds of channel catfish will be planted for the event. The following clinic after that will be at the Florin Creek Park Pond on Saturday, August 26, 2017, from 7:45am - 11:00 am. For more infor- mation, call 916) 395-0601. “Normally, we don’t like to do kids only events because I’ve found that in teaching kids how to fish, they do it best in family groups,” Ferreira said. “However, this pond is very small and has limited space for anglers.” He explained that during the fish- ing and conservation clinics that he has done for so many years, the adults will listen and then help the kids fish, based on the advice that Joe and oth- ers have given. Robert Silva, the parent involve- ment coordinator for SETA Head Start Fatherhood Programs, commented during Joe’s last event as coordinator, “It’s a great to see the amazement of a kid catching their first fish. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and Fishing in the City has been one of the mainstays of our program. Joes’s been wonderful to us over the years.’ Joe started as a seasonal aide with the CDFW at in 1978 at Crystal Lake Fishery Hatchery, and then worked with the Central Valley Fish Hatchery and Darrah Springs Hatchery. He also did stints at Elkhorn Slough and the State Endangered Spe- cies Program. While coordinating the Fishing in the City Program, Joe has done outreach for the pike eradication program at Davis Lake from 1997 to 2008 and other projects. The program has seen its chal- lenges over the years. “The budget has stayed the same, but the costs of purchasing fish have gone up. We’ve been forced to do fewer deliveries of trout during the winter and catfish in the summer,” said Ferreira. In spite of Department cutbacks and increasing costs of planting fish, the program has endured. Whereas the program used to stock a number of ponds in the Sacramento area with fish