This Piper aircraft seems to be ready for takeoff in this August 1950 image. It is captioned "fish plane" though I am not sure what role it played in local fisheries. I sure hope this airplane didn't replace this truck in depositing juvenile fish in local lakes.
"Fish planes" were definitely used to dump fingerling trout in the high mountain lakes. Many lakes that could not be reached by truck were stocked in this manner. They dropped fingerlings as a greater number could be deposited. A plane would decend to about 300 feet above the lake where a hopper of water with the trout in it would be released. The fish would go down in the heavy spray to the lake, then the pilot would head off for another high country lake. Many of the high mountain lakes still hold decendents of fish stocked in this manner. apparently it had been determined that the percentage of fingerlings lost in this manner did not deter enough to do the stocking by plane.
charlott on 27th August 2012 @ 7:14am
I've heard of it also, I think that shadowy area under the belly is a special tank. looks like a filler neck and cap in the right side behind the door.
spinsur on 27th August 2012 @ 8:21am
Once upon a time when I was 16, I back packed to Purple Lake in the High Sierras......it was around 10,000 feet elevation.....at about 6am one morning, a fish planting plane flew in over the western (open) end of the lake, at no more than 50 feet above the water, made a quick fish planting drop, did a fast 180 degree turn to exit the lake.....the east end of the lake had high mountains and I am sure the plane could not climb fast enough to clear them.....quite a unexpected sight and memorable.
Dr. Steelhead Catcher on 27th August 2012 @ 10:12am