Can you figure out what is wrong with this billboard? This billboard in Bitterroot Valley, Montana depicting a largemouth bass chasing a plug has local residents shaking their heads—or at least laughing to themselves. That is because the nearby and world famous Bitterroot River is known for its trout fishing, not bass. It seems the designer did not get the memo.
“This billboard near Lolo informs drivers on 93 that they are entering the Bass Fishing Mecca of the Bitterroot,” wrote Kate Davis, who posted a picture of the billboard to Facebook. “I wonder who thought this one up? Perhaps some stocked farm pond somewhere… Could it have been a little confusion between bass and trout?”
According to the Ravalli Republic, the sign was commissioned by a five-member volunteer county tourism board. The board had been looking for a way to promote excellent fishing opportunities in the area, but found that billboards were expensive and difficult to get a hold of. So when a company approached the group six months ago with an offer of a billboard near Lolo, the board jumped at the opportunity. Robbie Springs, one of the volunteer board members, said they asked the company to design something that drew focus to the fishing opportunities in the nearby Bitterroot River. They only specified a fisherman, a fly, and a fish.
Perhaps they should have been more specific. When the proof came back, it did so with a bass instead of a trout.
“None of us are fisher people,” Springs told the Republic. “We didn’t realize that we had the incorrect species. It was in no way malicious. We really intended to create an image that was welcoming to our valley.”
The board soon started getting calls from confused fishermen who informed them of the various inaccuracies with the billboard. After some discussion, the board decided to take down the sign and replace it with a new one. At least now, they know that people really do pay attention to billboards. At least, if you get something wrong.