Monitor Pass reopens for 3-day weekend |

Monitor Pass reopens for 3-day weekend

by Erick Studenicka
Special to the R-C
Highway 89 at the base of Monitor Pass was still closed on Wednesday, but was reopened on Friday morning.
Erick Studenicka

Monitor Pass between Topaz and Markleeville reopened on Friday morning, while Highway 4 between Raymond Meadows and Alpine Lake remained closed.

Highway 89 had been cleared and opened on May 16, but last week’s late-season snowfall closed the pass once again until Friday morning, according to the California Department of Transportation.

The pass could be closed again depending on weather.

CalTrans spokesperson Rick Estrada said he could not predict an opening date for Highway 4, the lone thoroughfare between Markleeville and Bear Valley. He said that even when all of the snow is removed from the roadway, it will take some time for Caltrans to assess damage and requisite repairs.

To the south, Tioga and Sonora passes also remain closed

Estrada recommends travelers view before mountain travel for the latest road conditions.

■ After a slow start to the fishing season, the bite in Alpine County should be improved this weekend following a 1,800-pound Alpine County Chamber of Commerce-sponsored plant of trout on Tuesday.

Todd Sodaro of the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the trout – originally scheduled to be planted before the California fishing opening day on April 27 – have finally been evenly distributed into the East and West Carson rivers and Markleeville and Silver creeks. The size of the trout range from about 10 inches in length to more than 4.5 pounds.

Sodaro said the delay in the trout plant was caused by high water and safety concerns. He said recent condition on the county’s waters would have swept most of the planted trout downstream into Nevada.

Sodaro also said 1,800 pounds of trout were stocked last week into Indian Creek Reservoir. Those fish were planted in conjunction with the Alpine County Kid’s Fishing Day. About 30-40 children attended the fishing day and they caught about 50 fish total. The planted fish ranged from nine inches to about 4.5 pounds.

With the trout plant concluded, Teresa Burkhauser of the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce said the “Come Get Hooked In Alpine County” fishing promotion is ongoing through Sunday. The promotion was originally set for April 27-28.

Eleven trout from Tuesday’s stocking are tagged on their dorsal fin with a marker that resembles a clothing tag fastener. The top tagged fish – weighing more than 5 pounds – is worth $75. There are also other cash, bait and tackle prizes provided by local sponsors. All tags must be taken to the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce Office, 3 Webster St., by 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Angler who don’t land a tagged trout can still get lucky and win prizes in the chamber’s free raffle. Drawings will be held at noon and 2 p.m. through the weekend. Many prizes have been donated by local merchants, including gift baskets and gift cards.

■ The Stonefly Restaurant in Markleeville, 14821 Highway 89, is set to be open 5-9 p.m. today.