Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery. Photo by Kathy Callan.
The last weekend in April marked the opening of trout season in California’s Eastern Sierra Mountains. This annual spectacle rivals the Mardi Gras in New Orleans or spring break in Palm Beach.
Highway 395 out of the Los Angeles basin was jammed with a steady stream of cars, trucks, motor homes, and trailers, all the way to Bridgeport. Every motel in Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, Lee Vining, and Bridgeport was booked and every campsite was full. What Christmas is to department stores, trout opener was to businesses in the Eastern Sierras. Fish and Game wardens from all over Southern California were commandeered to leave their own manageable districts and spend three days in virtual chaos.