The summer season is coming to an end at public swimming pools in Reno and Sparks. Many of our pools will be operating on reduced schedules and most will close for the season on Labor Day, September 4, 2017. For more information about which facilities are open and when, refer to “Public Swimming Pools and Water Play Places in Reno and Sparks.”

Washoe County is also set to close up shop at its water recreation places – the pool at Bowers Mansion Regional Park in Washoe Valley and water play splash parks at Lazy 5 Regional Park and North Valleys Regional Park.

For free water play, there is no season limit on the Truckee River at Wingfield Park in Reno and Rock Park in Sparks. Both parks have whitewater features for kids and families to enjoy during visits to the river. However, use extra caution when in and around the Truckee River this summer and fall. The water has gone down from the raging flows earlier this year, but it is still higher and colder than you may be used to at this time of year.

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Bowers Mansion Pool is the site of this non-competitive kids triathlon, sponsored by Washoe County Parks. The pool is located in Bowers Mansion Regional Park just south of Reno in Washoe Valley.

The Bowers Mansion Pool Kids Triathlon is a great introduction to the world of triathlon races for children of all ages. The triathlon will feature swimming in the historic Bowers Mansion Pool, and biking and running on a course within the park. Each age group has specific distances appropriate for their ages.

The triathlon is part of the Nevada Recreation and Parks Society’s 2017 Northern Nevada Triathlon Series, Carson City Parks and Recreation and Carson Tigersharks swim team, and the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation. The cost is $35 per participant. If you did not pre-register, registration can be processed at Bowers Mansion Pool. Start times are staggered by age group – oldest kids (ages 13 – 18) start at 7:45 a.m. For more information, call (775) 849-1825.

The final triathlon in the 2017 series will be on September 10, 2017 at Alf Sorensen Pool in Sparks, 1400 Baring Boulevard. This one is being put on by Sparks Parks and Recreation.

Source: Washoe County Parks and Open Space

The severe cold snap in December, 2013, brought single digit temperatures to the Truckee Meadows for weeks. This sort of thing happens just about every winter, but this time an event occured that hasn’t been seen before.

At Sparks Marina Park, all the fish in the lake went belly up, over 100,000 of them. At first, the mess was a mystery to investigating officials from Sparks and the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).

It wasn’t obvious that the cold temperatures had anything to do with the fish dying and no toxins were found in the water. However, further testing revealed that the dissolved oxygen content of the water was too low to support fish life. The cold snap chilled surface waters to the point that they sank to the bottom, resulting in a turnover of lake water and subsequent depletion of oxygen rich water where the fish live.

Tests in February and March showed oxygen levels in Sparks Marina Lake rebounding to the point of being able to support fish life. The Nevada Department of Wildlife has begun restocking the lake, beginning with about 8,000 rainbow trout at the end of March. As many as 26,000 trout may be added to the waters this year, along with some other species like bass and catfish. According to Chris Healy of NDOW, “People will be able to catch fish, but you have a whole big lake there without any fish in it so it’s going to take a while to get the fishery back like it was.”

If spring fishing is your thing, there are plenty of other choices in the Reno area and throughout Nevada. In fact, spring fishing may be best due to predicted low water levels in area streams and lakes later in the summer. For local choices, refer to “Let’s Go Fishing in Reno and Sparks.”