By Deb Murphy
Inyo County will be adding to the trout population in local waters starting in early June.
The Board of Supervisors approved up to $16,000 for plants of 1-3-lb. trout scheduled to for creeks and lakes adjacent to County campgrounds. The Bishop Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center will add $500 to the trout pot. With a per pound price of $5.75, comparable to a good steak, the allocation will buy Inyo approximately 1,400 fish.
The plants will be a welcome addition to a greatly reduced California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocking schedule. The poundage dropped by half as did the size of the fish.
Desert Springs Trout Farm of Oregon will be providing the rainbow. When IAG’s Conway Ranch hatchery closed last year with drought-related water supply issues, the Oregon operation was identified as the closest, or only, hatchery licensed and credentialed to stock Eastern Sierra waters.
The waters scheduled for the plants spread out over the summer include Baker, Taboose, Independence and Tinnemaha creeks. With the addition if Bishop Chamber funding, the Bishop Creek drainage will be added to the list.
According to County Administrator Kevin Carunchio, the County worked with CDF&W to determine which creeks would support the plants
Approximately 60-percent of the stocking funds, not earmarked in the current County budget, were appropriated from the Parks and Recreation budget during the midyear budget review. The balance will be included in the 2015-16 fiscal year.
- Bishop Volunteer Fire Department begins a long good-bye to Station 2 on West Line Street. Chief Ray Seguine reported that the 70-year old structure no longer accommodates today’s fire engines. The plan over the next couple of years is to tear the structure down, re-do the infrastructure and build a five-bay metal fire station with 12 by 14-foot doors.
- The City’s Parks and Recreation Department secured a $45,000 grant from the Toiyabe Health Project to renovate its ball fields, reported Recreation Supervisor Waylon Cleland. The re-no will take place between the end of Softball League action in early August and the start of AYSO in early September.
- City Administrator Jim Tatum is looking at a short-term rental ordinance. “We’re figuring out the numbers to see where we want to fall on this,” Tatum said. “It’s a significant issue state-wide.”
- The Bishop Tourism Improvement Program marketing committee is developing a three-pronged approach to draw visitors to Bishop. According to Chamber of Commerce/Visitor’s Center Executive Director Tawni Thomson, the Chamber will be expanding its presence at travel and sport shows, developing a targeted advertising campaign through social media and print advertising, partnering with major event organizers and improving area guest experiences to encourage extended visits.
“This is really preliminary,” Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio stressed in an e-mail. “I’ve been wanting to explore the feasibility of retaining an advocacy firm specializing in helping local governments procure federal funding for various projects.”
There are a lot of steps before the idea goes from “preliminary” to done-deal, starting with developing a Request for Proposals. Realizing that the County and City of Bishop share “seemingly endless needs and opportunities,” Carunchio approached Bishop Administrator Jim Tatum who brought the idea to the City Council earlier this month.
According to Carunchio, once specific details are worked out, the Board of Supervisors and Bishop City Council, if the City opts in, will have to approve the contracts. “Some of the uses of the service could be to secure funding for the 21st Century Obsidian Project, the last-mile fiber-optic network, road improvements and fish hatchery development, with funding priorities established by the Board.