A new park along the Kings River below Pine Flat Dam that provides improved facilities for anglers and a hiking trail will be dedicated Saturday.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for North Riverside Park is scheduled for 10 a.m., followed by trail walks and tours of the new incubator house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
North Riverside Park was developed by the Kings River Conservancy and funded by a $285,000 grant from Proposition 84, the California River Parkways Grant Program.
The trail runs 1 1/2 miles downstream to Choinumni Park and has direct river access at several points. The first half-mile is suitable for wheelchairs. There's also a paved parking area, three picnic tables and two interpretive kiosks.
North Riverside Park is located on Pine Flat Road just below where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bridge spans the Kings River. The area has long been a popular fishing spot for rainbow trout planted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife but lacked any amenities.
Besides the new facilities, two acres of invasive plants have been removed and replaced by native shrubs and trees to complement oaks and sycamores growing along the river.
A short walk from the park and just off the trail sits a new incubator house, which should improve native trout reproduction along the tailwater fishery 35 miles east of Fresno.
The building houses two 15-foot long tables that can hold up to 300,000 trout eggs, more than double the old system. The eggs are raised into fry, which are hand-carried to several locations along the river.
Hundreds of thousands of trout eggs have already been hatched and planted since the building became operational last fall.
"We're already seeing benefits from use of the incubator," said Steve Haugen, Kings River watermaster and fisheries management program executive officer.
North Riverside Park grand opening
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Pine Flat Road near Piedra
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