Repeat Spawners: High Sierra Trout Stocking

Starting the year 2022, many of us a looking back on simpler and easier times. The last couple years have been hard on us all, and those of us here at the Fisheries Blog hope you have a better year moving forward. We wanted to take a look back at the first fisheries blog post, this time 10 years ago in 2012.

Firmly strapped into the only remaining passenger seat of an airplane, barf bag perched at my beck and call, I was surrounded by the precious cargo I had raised all summer in preparation for this very day.  It started out as a gentle flight, but quickly became the wild ride I had been promised.

Jagged mountain tops towered over us directly out the window as we took our initial dive into a deep chasm in search of our drop zone.  “Let ‘em go!” were the only words the pilot directed at me that early autumn day over the piercing sounds of the low altitude alarms.  As the emerald treetops gave way to cobalt glacier formed lakes of the Sierra Nevada’s western slope, an instant rush of air flooded the cabin when I pushed the lever, opening the door in the belly of the plane.  We pulled out of our dive-bomb and banked hard left, as if avoiding return fire, to look out the window and ensure our payload had hit its intended mark.  An “affirmative” from the pilot to the copilot meant a job well done, and it was off to our next target.

Patrick Cooney

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