The day a biologist saved RPís fishing derby
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By Nicolas Grizzle  February 7, 2014 12:00 am

There’s no way to talk about The Community Voice without mentioning something good the paper has done for the Rohnert Park, Cotati or Penngrove. I have so many memories from my years on staff, but my favorite involves a biologist, a fishing derby and a bunch of government red tape.

The Rohnert Park Fishing Derby is one of few longstanding traditions the city still has from when I was a kid growing up in the mean streets of C Section. 

It almost faded away in 2010 when the state Fish and Wildlife Department demanded a certified biologist study the Roberts Lake to ensure there were no endangered frogs there.

This was two months before the derby, and the lake could not be stocked with trout without the $25,000 study. 

It looked like hundreds of anglers, young and not so young, were going to be disappointed thanks to a couple of probably non-existent frogs. 

The Community Voice ran a story about it and fielded calls and letters filled with dismay.

Enter Brian Pittman, a certified biologist with some time on his hands. 

He saw the story and got in touch with the derby’s coordinator, offering to complete the required study in time for the trout to be planted for the derby. Best of all, he offered to do it free of charge. 

The derby went on as planned, thanks to kind hearts, good reporting and a lot of frog watching.

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