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Golden Trout illustration

Golden Trout

World Record ~ 11 Lbs. Caught at Cooks Lake, WY on Aug. 5, 1948 by angler Charles S. Reed

Scientific name ~ Oncorhynchus Aguabonita

Other names ~  Kern River Golden Trout, Mountain Trout, California Golden Trout

Identification ~ The Golden Trout has an olive-green back and bright red-to-gold sides and belly. In the spring spawning season, the colors are extremely intense. It is the most colorful of the trout species. Golden trout are native only to a few small lakes and streams at high elevations in the Sierra Nevada of California. The California golden trout is native only to two high-altitude watersheds in California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its native range once encompassed an estimated 450 miles of stream habitat in the upper South Fork Kern River and adjacent Golden Trout Creek. Preferred water temperature is 58-62 F. They were introduced into other lakes and streams outside the Sierra Nevada including the mountain lakes of southern Alberta and into New Mexico. Golden trout are very specialized for their particular environment, and do not do well in lower-elevation streams and lakes. The short growing season of the high mountain lakes does not allow this trout to grow fast, and so most Golden Trout are small. However, they are highly prized by the adventurous angler.

Size ~ The Golden trout grows slowly due to the short growing season of the high altitude lakes and streams it inhabits. The Golden Trout can live for 7 years and in its native streams rarely exceeds a pound.

Habitat ~ The Golden Trout inhabits cool clear water high elevation (above 6,800 feet) lakes and streams. Native to California but have been introduced in Alberta, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

Feeding Habits ~ Golden Trout feed primarily on insects and insect larvae especially Midges and Caddisflies.

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