For the 20th year, the Hidden Valley Kiwanis of Escondido will host their annual Charity Trout Derby at Dixon Lake on Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23.
Saturday’s hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday’s hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be prizes for adults and juniors, with additional prizes for anglers that bring in any of the 15 tagged fish.
The city will be stocking Dixon Lake with 4,500 pounds of Nebraska Tailwalker Rainbow Trout just before the Derby, so fishing should be great. In addition, the Kiwanis are sponsoring a “kiddie pond” again this year, with about 300 pounds of bluegill. The kiddie pond will be adjacent to Pier 2, and will be staffed by volunteers from the Senior Anglers of Escondido.
Their more accomplished anglers will be there to help the amateurs become pros! No adult fishing in the kiddie pond, please!
Permit prices for the derby will be $14 for adults and $10 for youth and seniors. Anglers under 8 do not require a permit. California State fishing licenses are not required at Dixon Lake. There is a $5.00 entry fee for vehicles entering the park on weekends and holidays, including derby days. Guests 60 or better are free.
In order to provide a fun and productive derby, Dixon Lake will be closed to all fishing beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, and will re-open at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 22.
How the Trout Derby began
The Trout Derby was the brainchild of “The Paper’s” legendary publisher, Lyle Davis, who is also a longtime member of the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club. Each Kiwanis club has the responsibility of raising funds under their Foundation guidelines to support local community projects and global needs as derived by Kiwanis International.
At one time Davis was the proprietor of the Snack bar and Boat Rentals at Lake Dixon. He recommended the club host a “Trout Derby” at the lake.
As Davis told The Times-Advocate: “I discussed it with Nick Ponce, retired Sergeant from Escondido Police Department He asked me if it was something we could do and I told him we could make it happen.We then proposed it to the club and they adopted the premise immediately.”
The event has grown a little each year. About ten years ago the club was looking for ways to involve the entire family, so after discussions with the Senior Anglers of North County, they introduced a “Kiddy Pond.”
Kiwanis Club members obtained the materials, constructed two 10ft x 20ft x 6ft netted ponds in which we (the Club) paid to stock with young trout specifically for all Children under 8 years (no permit required). This was received so well by the Lake Rangers and the participants they added a second event during the City’s Trout Derby the Fall of each year and referred to it as the Children’s Fishing Experience.
All funds are passed through the Kiwanis Foundation – a 501(C)3 foundation. Approximately 90% of the funds received for this effort are channeled back into the community. Monies are allocated each year by the incoming president, but this is an example of a typical distribution:
Operational Hero Recipients $2,500
Local High School Scholarships $2,500
Local Youth Sports $500
EPD Car Seat Program $500
North County Interfaith $500
Rady’s Children’s Hospital $1,000
Project Eliminate (NNT) $400
Lake Dixon Fishing Experience $1,200
North County Serenity House $2,000
Local High School Student
Other Youth Services Programs $500
Total donations from Hidden Valley Foundation $13,600
Funds collected are from Direct Sponsors, Opportunity Prize drawings, Food Sales, and Employee Appreciation programs. As additional funds become available, so does our contribution to Local needs.