The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has started planting catchable rainbow trout in Kern and Tulare County rivers and lakes last month after water temperatures cooled enough to ensure success.
The first fish from the Kern River Hatchery were put into the Kern River above Kernville and more fish will be planted from the hatchery as water temperatures continue to drop. Ming, River Walk, Truxton and other lakes around Bakersfield have also been stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout, with others to follow.
“The lower water levels and higher temperatures in the Kern River forced us to stop planting fish over the summer,” said hatchery supervisor Greg Kollenborn. “In the last month we have planted about 20,000 fish into local rivers and lakes.”
The Kern River is not only a viable trout stream, but it also supplies the water for the hatchery. As winter approaches, the water temperature in the river is now cold enough to support the trout held in the hatchery. Kern River Hatchery typically releases about 175,000 trout every year.
Hatchery officials anticipate that water temperatures will remain cool enough to maintain a normal stocking schedule throughout the remainder of the year.
The complete statewide planting schedule can be found here.
Greg Kollenborn, CDFW Central Region Hatcheries, (559) 903-6917
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944