The once-popular fishing spot reopened for the second year to anglers last weekend and will remain open weekends only through April.
The 20-acre pond has significantly decreased because of the drought, forcing river parkway officials to limit anglers to bank-fishing and boats that can be hand-carried to the pond as the old earthen boat ramp is inaccessible.
Ball Ranch will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fees are $6 per vehicle. Trailers cost an extra $5. There is no public river access from Ball Ranch.
The Parkway Trust now manages the property.
Details: www.riverparkway.org or (559) 248-8480, ext. 101
Brian Sturgeon St. Patrick's Day Run
Where: Woodward Park
The popular St. Patty's Day run is in its 35th year benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Central California. And 62-year-old Brian Sturgeon will still lead the 2-mile walk (7:35 a.m.).
The 4-mile main event (7:30) is worth 30 points in the Valley Runner of the Year Series, and organizers have added a 5-mile walk at 7. The Kids Fun Run is scheduled for 8:30.
Race day registration is $30 for adults, $10 for kids 9 and under. Pre-registration is available today from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Sierra Running Co. (9447 N. Fort Washington).
Details: www.briansturgeonrun.com San Joaquin River Fishing Derby
When: 7 a.m. March 15
Where: Sycamore Island (39664 Avenue 7 1/2, Madera)
The second annual derby features a raffle with a grand prize of a lifetime California fishing license. Fishing derby categories are largest trout and largest bass caught by youth and adults.
There is no charge to enter the derby, although participants are required to pay the regular Sycamore Island day use fee of $9 per vehicle and $5 per trailered boat.
River restoration seminar on March 20
Gerald Hatler of California Fish and Wildlife will lead a discussion on the San Joaquin River Recreational Impact Study at Herb Bauer Sporting Goods at 6 p.m. March 20 to discuss recreational enhancements and how the restoration program may affect anglers.
News & Notes
** The region's two ski resorts, China Peak and Badger Pass, are running near full capacity due to last week's snowfall.
China Peak has base depths of 18 to 40 inches after getting three feet of snow. That's enough powder for Saturday's Jack Pieroni Demo Day (9 a.m to 3 p.m.) and Sunday's opening race of the Central California High School Ski & Snowboard Series.
Badger Pass has base depths of 24 inches while cross-country ski tracks were set out to Glacier Point on Saturday and Bridalveil Campground on Wednesday.
** From backpacking trips to the top of Clouds Rest to photography and painting seminars taught by noted experts, the Yosemite Conservancy has unveiled its lineup of 2014 Outdoors Adventures.
Details: www.yosemiteconservancy.org/adventures or call (209) 379-2317, ext. 10.
** Buy, sell and trade outdoors equipment for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating and more at the 17th annual Fresno County Sportsmen’s Club Swap Meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Sportsmen's Club (10645 N. Lanes Road, Fresno). Admission is $5.