California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Historic Mount Whitney Fish Hatcherybuilding

Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery

Mount Whitney Hatchery has been closed for hatchery use.

The hatchery, which is located in Inyo County, and the surrounding area were severely damaged in 2008 when heavy rains pounded the already fire damaged Oak Creek watershed. This triggered a massive debris flow that killed all the rainbow trout, destroyed four buildings and buried the fish rearing ponds.

The hatchery site is located on an alluvial fan or natural mud flow out of the Sierra and thus is prone to such events. Due to the high amounts of loose sediment still in large stretches of the creeks, CDFW geologists advised against reconnecting the hatchery’s fish rearing water source. Restoration of the watershed may take several years to complete and until that time, Oak Creek is susceptible to reoccurrence of flooding. Several alternatives for stabilizing the area are under consideration, but definitive plans have yet to be approved.

CDFW remains committed to trout stocking goals in the Eastern Sierra. No disruption to CDFW’s stocking program in the Eastern Sierra is anticipated. Nearby Black Rock Hatchery, where fish production takes place for the Eastern Sierra, was not damaged and continues to stock fish on a regular basis.

Mount Whitney Hatchery typically produced about 8 million rainbow trout eggs annually and supplied eggs to CDFW production hatcheries throughout the state. CDFW increased rainbow trout egg production at other state hatcheries to compensate for this loss.

Directions:
On Highway 395 about 2 miles north of Independence; turn west at sign, go about 1 mile to hatchery. Inyo County.