Ball Ranch reopens for public fishing, boating

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/THE FRESNO BEE
Jon Reed of Fresno casts his fly line from a float tube in the San Joaquin River near Friant.

Ball Ranch, which until the mid 1980s was a popular fishing spot on the San Joaquin River north of Fresno, is once again welcoming anglers and boaters.

The 358-acre property was purchased by the San Joaquin Conservancy in 1999 for $6.8 million but has never been open to the public. Until now.

Ball Ranch will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fees are $6 per vehicle. Trailers cost an extra $5.

The property features a large quarry pond suitable for bank fishing or from a small boat. There is no ramp, so only hand-carried boats are suitable. Visitors should bring their own water and snacks.

There is no public river access from Ball Ranch.

Until the mid 1980s, the property was owned by the Ball Family, which allowed public fishing. Access was cut off when a housing development and golf course were proposed for the land. The development was rejected, which helped spur the creation of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust.

The non-profit Parkway Trust now manages the property. Details: riverparkway.org or (559) 248-8480, ext. 101.