The man who loves fishing won’t give up on Fuji Park pond
Appeal Staff Writer
Kevin “CK” Baily loves to fish, and he wants others to love it, too.
“Everybody remembers the first fish they ever caught,” said Baily, 51.
Some of his favorite memories about fishing are from when he was growing up in the Studio City section of Los Angeles. The Sportsmen’s Lodge is a now getaway spot for Hollywood’s elite, but was more of a neighborhood attraction when Baily was growing up because of its urban fishing pond, at which people could pay a fee and fish in the middle of the San Fernando Valley.
Those family outings are “what got me hooked” on the sport, he said.
As an adult, he has been involved in programs to help children learn about fish and fishing, including Trout in the Classroom and the annual Kids Fishing Derby at Lampe Park in Gardnerville.
His longtime vision of Carson City having an urban pond may finally come true. Officials expect to start digging a one-acre pond at the Carson City Fairgrounds/Fuji Park early next year.
The city acknowledged Baily recently for his efforts to get the project moving, after eight years. He assisted the Parks and Recreation Department with its plans for the pond and even presented the grant request to the state on behalf of the city. The Nevada Department of Wildlife gave the city $350,000 for the pond as a result.
Others involved with the project – such as Lumos and Associates, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Sierra Pacific Resources Foundation and Carson Valley Conservation District – also were given kudos for funding help or in-kind contributions to keep the cost down. The pond is estimated to cost $440,000.
Baily and city officials expect to have it ready for hooks and bait by fall.
There were moments when he thought the pond never would be built, such as when elected officials sought to sell Fuji Park, beginning in 1999.
Fuji Park used to be the site of a poor farm, and “is steeped in history,” he emphasized. “It belongs to the people.”
This makes it the perfect place to put something for children, who’ll be able to ride their bikes or even walk to the fishing pond. It’s also good for people with disabilities who can’t easily make their way to fishing locations around the area because of the terrain or for people who don’t have cars.
“It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be stunning,” Baily said. “A blue jewel.”
Baily has lived in Carson City since 1981, and worked for the state’s Department of Information Technology for the past 25 years as a facilities engineer. He is married, and has one adult daughter and three grandchildren. His 9-year-old granddaughter “already knows how to fish,” he added.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.