Golden trout

Golden trout lying on the sand showing its beautiful red, orange, and gold coloration with dark spots on its back and tail
Freshly caught golden trout with bright red, gold, and orange colors laying atop some rocks on the bank of the lake

Jim Cummins

Common names
Kern River golden trout
Mountain trout
California golden trout
Latin name
Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita

Description and Range

Physical description

Golden trout are popular game fish on a limited scale because of their limited distribution. They are a subspecies of rainbow trout native to a restricted area in Northern California. They have an olive back with distinctive golden sides that give them their name. On each side of the body there is a red, horizontal band along the lateral line and about 10 dark, vertical, oval-shaped marks (called "parr marks") normally associated with only fingerlings that say on the fish for two to three years of age. Dorsal, lateral and anal fins have white leading edges. Dark spots occur on the upper half of the body, dorsal fin, adipose fin, and caudal fin.Average 8-12 inches. Golden trout can grow to 15+ inches in quality populations.