Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Foundation
BFEF's commitment is to help maintain sustainable fisheries in our local waterways & lakes, introducing kids to fishing, conservation of Bridgeport waterways, and supporting local & outdoor programs.
To enhance Bridgeport area trout fisheries, get kids hooked on fishing, conservation of Bridgeport area waterways, and support outdoor & local programs through non-profit means.
Raise funds for BFEF programs
Develop and maintain public–private partnerships
Operate and manage educational programs
Develop and implement fishery management programs locally
Besides stocking fish into Bridgeport area waters, holding the BFEF June Fishing Tournament, as well as getting our youth involved in fishing, BFEF also helps other non-profit organizations and our local Marine Base. Here are just some of the programs we lend our support and time too.
BFEF helps sponsor (each June) the USMC - Mountain Warfare Training Center Fishing Derby for active military families stationed at the base (about 20 miles north of Bridgeport). BFEF provides rods, reels and tackle for the kids, BFEF also partners with Desert Springs Trout Farm to supply donated fish for their pond on the USMC base.
BFEF helps sponsor Reel Recovery Bridgeport Area Retreat. This is a non profit group that helps men battling various stages of cancer. The participants enjoy an outdoor retreat. BFEF helps by donating rods, reels & tackle to the men and also assists with getting the guys fishing in the area.
BFEF helps sponsor Wild Ops - a non profit who arranges outdoor retreats for injured US Combat Veterans. BFEF assists at the retreat & provides rods, reels & tackle to the participants through our partnerships with Ken's Sporting Goods and Berkley. Also, BFEF President, Ray Robles, provides home cooked meals to the participants during their week in the Eastern Sierra.
In 2018, BFEF was asked to help the Girl Scouts earn their fishing badges. BFEF helped sponsor their trip, gave them rods, reels & tackle. Each girl caught fish and learned about fishing in the Bridgeport area.
BFEF enhances the local trout populations by various means including cage culture fish rearing pens as well as purchasing and stocking various sized Brown and Rainbow Trout into local area waters as our funds and other criteria allow. Since 2015, BFEF has introduced our BFEF Tagged Trophy Trout Program with a bounty for those fish that are caught, thus allowing our volunteers to track tagged fish. Since our inception, BFEF has helped stock literally thousands of Brown and Rainbow trout into various Bridgeport area waters. BFEF has given away hundreds of free rods, reels & tackle to kids and other non-profit groups. BFEF continues to support local and outdoor programs, all through donated funds, thanks to you.
Who We Are
BFEF volunteers have entered into public-private partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as several private businesses, which benefit all. BFEF continues to work closely with CDFW to promote sustainable Brown & Rainbow Trout fisheries throughout the Bridgeport area by purchasing and stocking trout into various Bridgeport area waters as funds and other criteria allow.
BFEF has recently partnered with Bridgeport Reservoir Marina & Campground as well as Virginia Lakes Resort owners to stock additional trout into those waterways through a shared cost program. These partnerships help to promote BFEF programs, raise public awareness and increase the stocking efforts at these locations, which is a win-win for all involved, especially the anglers.
BFEF also receives donations from other non-profit organizations that have recognized BFEF as an important asset to the outdoor and local community. BFEF wishes to recognize and thank all of those organizations especially; Fishin' Mission Foundation and Fish-O-Rama for their continued financial assistance over the years.
BFEF volunteers also help educate the public through our programs. Our local waters now benefit from our efforts which are supported by non-profit donations that we receive through fund-raising efforts such as; fishing tournaments, letter writing campaigns and donations. BFEF also supports local and outdoor programs in an effort to get kids hooked on fishing and assist other non-profit groups with their outdoor adventures in Northern Mono County. BFEF also supports programs which help with the conservation of Bridgeport area waterways. All of our efforts support our long term goals to enhance the local fisheries and improve the angler experience for future generations.
Started in 2003, BFEF became a recognized non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. The organization is made up of all volunteers. The Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Program began with the idea of purchasing Brown Trout for planting in the Bridgeport Reservoir to supplement government cutbacks. BFEF expanded the stocking program of Browns and Rainbows to include various other waterways & lakes in the Bridgeport area. BFEF continues to expand our outreach to introduce youth into fishing as well as supporting local & outdoor programs, as funds allow. BFEF programs have been highlighted in several major publications, which in turn, has increased our donor base and our impact in the areas of sustainable fisheries, the environment as well as outdoor & local programs.
BFEF’s colorful history has had many successful programs. Our first hatchery facility was constructed in 2005, at Paradise Shores RV Park. After completing mandatory testing and proving that the system is disease free, we were able to raise beautiful, healthy trout in a modified tomato bin using re-circulating well water.
Each June, BFEF sponsors the June Trout Tournament. It is a family event with Mens, Womens and Juniors divisions. The tournament includes free giveaways, prizes for each division, a $500 scholarship, hosted dinner and fundraising raffle. In addition, each junior participant receives a free rod, reel and plaque.
In 2014 / 2015, BFEF changed directions due to budget constraints and drought conditions. We established Cage Culture Fish Rearing systems, tagged trophy trout programs, revitalization of brown trout plantings in allowable waters and other locally based educational programs.
BFEF has taken part in many other local, state and federal agencies programs through partnerships. Just one example is BFEF’s support of the local Marine Base’s annual kids fishing derby. BFEF, through partnerships with local merchants and hatcheries, provide fish as well as brand new rods & reels for all the kids at the derby.