Environment & Science

Los Angeles River is once again an open recreation zone

Kayakers stretched out along the LA River behind George Wolfe, leading LA River Expeditions. On Memorial Day, the Los Angeles River Pilot Recreational Zone officially opened to the public for kayaking, walking, birdwatching, and fishing along a 2.5 mile stretch of the river in the Elysian Valley.
Kayakers stretched out along the LA River behind George Wolfe, leading LA River Expeditions. On Memorial Day, the Los Angeles River Pilot Recreational Zone officially opened to the public for kayaking, walking, birdwatching, and fishing along a 2.5 mile stretch of the river in the Elysian Valley.
Peter Bennett / lariverpix.com

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Three years in a row makes it routine: Memorial Day heralds the start of prime recreation season on the Los Angeles River. River advocates see the boating program as a first step toward one day opening the full 51–mile course of the L.A. River to the public. The stretch through Elysian Valley is part of a larger section of river that L.A. officials hope to return to a more natural state through a 1.3 billion dollar restoration project. 

The Mountain Recreations and Conservation Authority oversees the open zone, which is open sunrise to sunset, through Labor Day, to boating and fishing, and you don't need special reservations. But the number of programs has increased, so here's a quick roundup: 

Kayaking

Fishing

You don't need a special permit. But if you're looking for competition, brush up your skills all summer, then get into the Friends of the Los Angeles River's Off Tha' Hook fishing derby September 5

Birdwatching

Audubon Debs Park is doing 90-minute guided bird walks May 23, June 27 and July 25. 

Walks, talks and campouts!

Play the LA River is compiling a pretty good calendar year-round for all kinds of activities. And Friends of the LA River has The Frog Spot, open till 8 PM on weekends, offering coffee, beer and wine, vegan snacks, and entertainment. 

This post has been updated.