Hatchery in Jeopardy
The California Department of Fish and Game scheduled the closure of Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery on June 30, 1996, in an effort to cut department expenditures. Opposition to the closure began in the local community and ultimately grew to include citizens throughout the state.
Our concerned neighbors recognized the functional, historical, and cultural significance of our facility. This recognition would go on to save us. After a public meeting in March of 1996, the Department of Fish and Game formed a Strategic Planning Committee of citizens interested in advising the Director on the future of the hatchery.
The Hatchery Today
Our hatchery has stood as a local institution for the past century. Though our fish production was an integral part of the Owens Valley economy, our building and grounds continue to serve as a vital component and reminder of our community's spirit. The stately building and picturesque grounds have lasted decades, hosting high school graduations, concerts, weddings, family picnics, and countless other functions. While our establishment is a local favorite, our stunning architecture and attractions also attract tourists from around the world. Our hatchery totals over 60,000 visitors each year.
Looking to the Future
Using the plan designed by the Strategic Planning Committee, the Friends of Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Fish and Game. The MOU allows the Friends to operate an interpretive center, gift shop, and visitor tours at the hatchery. Additionally, Friends will assume some of the maintenance of the building and grounds.