Trouts and salmons

Golden Trout Golden Trout
Oncorhynchus aguabonita (Salmo aguabonita)


16–20". Elongated, somewhat compressed. Back brown or olive with black spots; 8–10 gray patches and red stripe along lateral line; sides golden yellow; belly bright red. Single triangular dorsal fin and adipose fin small; tail fin notched, reddish with black spots; pelvic and anal fins reddish with white tips. Mouth large. Gill covers reddish.

Endangered Status

The Little Kern Golden Trout, a subspecies of the Golden Trout, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as threatened in California. The Department of Fish and Game contributed to the decline of this fish by introducing other sportfish (Rainbow, Brown, and Brook Trout) into its Kern River habitat. The introduced fish hybridized with the Golden Trout, and the existence of the pure Little Kern Golden Trout became threatened. Grazing cattle also had an impact, trampling the streambanks and reducing necessary vegetation. The Fish and Game department quickly took measures to reverse the decline, removing the non-native trout and reestablishing habitat. The Little Kern Golden Trout has now been restored to all of its historical range.