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0000 128287living here OUTDOORS: FISHING AND HUNTINGBy Brett Wilkisonere's proof that fisher- men and hunters haveit good in Tulare Coun- ty. Every season, sports- men from throughoutthe state and aroundthe country flock to local rivers andpublic lands to enjoy what beckonsonly just beyond our backyard. If you are a rod- and- reel type, there are more than a few can't- missdestinations, which should keep youcasting, tracking and calling. FishingWhether you're dipping a dry- flyinto moving waters, wading into abackcountry lake or zinging a jigfrom your bass boat, fishermen haveplenty of waters in the area to suittheir style. Trout fishermen are blessed tohave the Kern River, which graces asliver of southern Tulare Countyand is both a prolific catch- and- release as well as put- and- take fish- ery. The Kaweah River, though pub- licly accessible in fewer spots, isalso a dependable destination tocast for trout. Farther into the mountains, fish- ing is permitted in most parts ofSequoia and Kings Canyon NationalPark, and can be excellent in theadjacent national forest. Local reservoirs, including LakeKaweah east of Exeter, Lake Successeast of Porterville and Bravo Lakenear Woodlake, are popular amongbass fishermen. Trout, crappie, bluegill, carp and catfish also ply thesewaters. The Balch Park ponds, off High- way 190, are stocked with trout anda good place to take young anglers. The season for rivers and back- country lakes runs from late Aprilthrough November and at reser- voirs it's year- round. See FISHING, 29 Ron HolmanScott Snetzinger of Three Rivers prepares to return a bass fish to the Kaweah River while fishingat Slick Rock Recreation Area. There's room to roam for sportsmen in county28| May 21, 2009| LIVING HEREH

l iving here OUTDOORS: WATER SPORTSAnyone 16 years and older is requiredto have a California fishing license. Con- sult California Fish and Game Depart- ment rules before heading out. HuntingThere's also enough rolling and roughcountry in Tulare County to provideampleopportunities for hunters. Mule deer, black bear, pheasant anddove are the most popular game species. The black bear season, especially, drawshunters from around the state. Wild pig hunting is also available, though most happens on private land. " There are lots of places to explore ifhunters are willing to do some travel- ing," said Mike Conely, the local gamewarden for the Department of Fish andGame. Hunting is not allowed in nationalparks. . Hunters are required to have passed asafety course, obtained a license andhave a tag for the game species they'rehunting. Most game seasons start in Sep- tember and run through fall. Check with Fish and Game for regu- lations. FISHINGContinued from page xxThis is a view of the boatdock at Lake Kaweah fromthe U. S. Army Corps ofEngineers offices. Steve R. FujimotoBy Brett Wilkisonuthor Mark Twainfamously said thatin the westernUnited States, " water was forfighting." Anotherbeverage, whiskey, " was for drinking," he said. In Tulare Coun- ty, though, whenthe temperature climbs into the 90s, as it'sprone for months at a time, water is forfun. These destinations offer getaways tocool you off. Lake KaweahOperated for water supply by the ArmyCorps of Engineers, this reservoir east ofExeter serves boaters of all types. Waterskiing, tubing and wakeboarding are allpopular. Fishermen ply the lake in smalloutboard boats and fancy bass rigs. Campers and those looking to picnic onthe lake use the house and deck boats thatare offered for rent by Dale and JoyMehrten, long- time owners of the lake'smarina. " Summer is looking good for water lev- els," said Joy Mehrten. Three ramps serve the lake, includingthe new Slickrock Recreation Area, which See KAWEAH, 30Water sports offer summertimerecreationALakeKaweah