Trout Derby at Cachuma Lake – April 20th and 21st

Anglers of all ages are encouraged to enter the Nature Center’s Eighteenth Annual Trout Derby April 20th and 21st. Registration fee for adults is $35 until April 6; $40 thereafter. Kids ages 4 – 10 years old $10. Registration forms are available at Cachuma Lake Park entry gate, store, marina, Nature Center and some local businesses. To receive information and a registration form in the mail, leave your name and address on the hotline (805) 693-8381 or visit here

Cash prizes amounting to $5,000 plus thousands of dollars worth of merchandise prizes will be awarded in many categories and to anglers of all ages. Certain prizes are designated for children and for teens.

All anglers 16 years and older must have a fishing license which may be purchased at the marina. Free arts and crafts activities will be offered to children Saturday afternoon of Derby weekend at the Nature Center and the Nature Center will also host a special Books & Treasure Sale on both Saturday and Sunday at the Nature Center.

To make reservations for cabins, yurts, individual camp sites or full hook-up sites go to: or call (805) 686-5050. For other camping information call (805) 686-5054

More About the Derby:

The Neal Taylor Nature Center at Cachuma Lake will hold the 18th Annual Trout Derby on April 20 and 21. The derby is the major fund raising event for the Center that was founded by the late Neal Taylor in 1988.

Cachuma Lake has been planted with thousands of pounds of trout during the past year. The next trout plants are scheduled for Wed., April 3rd, and a special plant on Thursday, April 18th of 4000 pounds of Calaveras Trout with hundreds of tagged trout and trophy fish of 10pounds plus! There will be plenty of trout to be caught during the derby. Over $5,000 in cash prizes in various categories will be awarded, including $2,000 for the highest numbered tagged fish and $1,000 for the longest trout. In addition, there are fifteen other cash prizes and rods and reels for lucky anglers. Registered individuals must be 4 years or older to participate. A registered angler is eligible for door prizes to be given away at the Awards Program on Sunday at 1:00 pm at Fireside Theater. Door prize winners must be present; cash prizes will be mailed if the winner is not present. Entry fees are $35 if postmarked by April 6; $40 thereafter. Children 4 to 10 years may register for $10. Children’s activities will be organized on the lawn in front of the Nature Center on Saturday from 1 to 3 pm. This free event is well attended with children having a great time working on arts and crafts projects. Lots of laughing and messy activities; parents have fun too! Folks are encouraged to visit the Nature Center during the children’s activities or at other hours during the weekend. Knowledgeable docents and volunteers will gladly show visitors the exhibits on plants, animals and other topics.

There are many hands-on objects for children to experience. Two-hour wildlife cruises on the Lake, led by the Park Naturalist, are $15 for adults; $7 for children 4 to 12 years.

Reservations are recommended; call (805) 686-5050 or go to the main gate in person. A books and treasures sale will be held at the Nature Center Saturday from 10am until 3pm on Saturday and from 10 am – 2pm on Sunday. This is also a fund raising event for the Nature Center and visitors are encouraged to see the hundreds of books and special items. “What’s Up at Cachuma Lake,” a program about fishing on the Lake and some “fish stories” will be given by local fisherman, Harry DeWitt, at 7:00pm. Friday evening April 19, at Fireside Theater. Visitors may purchase raffle tickets for many valuable prizes beginning at noon on Friday, April 19 and continuing through the weekend until Sunday noon.

Winning tickets will be drawn at the Sunday Awards Program, beginning at 1:00 at Fireside Theater. Winners do not need to be present. Folks may call the Trout Derby Hotline for up to date information (805) 693-8381 or visit us a

About Neal Taylor:

The Nature Center was founded in 1988 when the dream of naturalist, Neal Taylor, became a reality. Neal Taylor began fishing as a child in the Eastern Sierras with his father. As a teenager, Neal began entering fly fishing tournaments and started his own fly tying business, Taylor Ties Flies. This business grew to have over a dozen employees. Neal fished all over the world and conducted fly fishing instructional camps throughout the Western United States. He taught fly fishing to a number of celebrities and to three United States Presidents. Neal Taylor is the author of “Fly Fishing” which is available in the Nature Center Gift Shop. Neal also taught various college level courses and was a frequent and popular speaker for business, professional, service and recreational organizations. Neal served as Naturalist for the Santa Barbara County Parks Department for over 18 years before retiring.

Neal was a favorite of youth groups of all ages and his legendary storytelling skills and humor added vitality and excitement to all the walks and talks he once led. Neal, until his passing in Feb. 2011 continued to be very active as a Nature Center Board member and was a lead participant in the various fishing workshops held at the Nature Center, including the widely attended annual Trout Derby. With Neal’s passing in Feb. 2011 it was proposed to rename the Cachuma Lake Nature Center in his honor to The Neal Taylor Nature Center at Cachuma Lake.

For additional information and to receive a registration form in the mail, leave your name and address on the hotline (805) 693-8381 or visit here


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