Every year, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) trout hatcheries release trophy-sized trout to approved waters for public recreational angling and a chance to “catch a big one”! Trophy trout are categorized by CDFW as larger than 2.99 pounds each, but can be much larger. Another category of large trout released by CDFW each year is “super-catchable,” which are fish between 1.1 and 2.99 pounds each. Some of these large fish are raised specifically to provide public anglers with a chance to catch a big one, and others are released to approved waters once they have fulfilled their role in providing fertilized eggs for populating fish of all life stages in CDFW’s statewide program of trout hatcheries.
Trophy and super-catchable trout require more resources than catchable-size trout. Younger trout (fingerling to catchable size) grow quickly and efficiently convert fish food to body size, and that efficiency drops with age. By weight, 93 percent of all trout released by CDFW trout hatcheries are in the “catchable” size category (most often 1/2 pound fish, or approximately 12 inches in length). In 2018, approximately 100,000 pounds of trout released for public recreational angling will be in the trophy or super-catchable size.
The following locations are scheduled for trophy and super-catchable size trout releases in 2018:
- Hat Creek, Shasta County (late April to early May)
- Burney Creek, Shasta County (late April to early May)
- Baum Lake, Shasta County (late April to early May)
- Iron Canyon Reservoir, Shasta County (May)
- Browns Pond, Modoc County (May)
- Rainbow Pond, Modoc County (May)
- Ash Creek, Lassen County (May)
- Shasta Lake, Shasta County (May through August)
- Lake Siskiyou, Siskiyou County (May through August)
- Juanita Lake, Siskiyou County (May through June)
North Central Releases
- Red Lake, Alpine County (May)
- Indian Creek Reservoir, Alpine County (May)
- Sawmill Pond (children’s fishing pond), El Dorado County (May)
- Pillsbury Reservoir, Lake County: (May)
- Various locations for Kid’s Fishing Day events (November through May)
- Kern River, Tulare County (February through April)
- Kings River, Fresno County (January through April)
- Stanislaus River, Tuolumne County (June and July)
- Pinecrest Lake, Tuolumne County (June and July)
- Shaver Lake, Fresno County (February through March)
South Coast Releases
- Pyramid Lake, Los Angeles County (November through May)
Inland Deserts Releases
- 35 waters in Inyo and Mono counties, including but not limited to Bishop Creek, Bridgeport Reservoir, Convict Lake, Diaz Lake, Ellery Lake, the June Lake Loop, Lake Sabrina, Lee Vining Creek, Lundy Lake, the Mammoth Lakes, the Owens River, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Twin Lakes Bridgeport, Rock Creek Lake, Saddlebag Lake, South Lake, Tioga Lake, Virginia Lakes and the West Walker River (March through September)
- Silverwood Lake, San Bernardino County (November through May)
- Trophy fish are regularly added to weekly plants of regular sized “catchable” fish in Inyo and Mono counties.
- The trophy sized fish are tagged for identification as originating from CDFW hatcheries and released to approved waters determined to have the ability to sustain the larger fish.
- Trophy fish will be stocked in Diaz Lake for the early trout opener and in Pleasant Valley Reservoir and in Owens River Section II for the Blake Jones Derby.
- Trophy fish have been stocked in Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Owens River Section II, Owens River below Tinemaha and Diaz Lake since January and these waters will continue to receive trophy fish over the next few months.
Updated information on trophy and super-catchable trout releases for recreational angling is released early each calendar year and will be posted to the CDFW fish stocking website (http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/). Anglers can also call the following lines for region-specific information:
- Northern Region: (530) 225-2146
- North Central Region: (916) 351-0832
- Central Region: (559) 243-4005, ext. 183
- South Coast Region: (855) 887-1275
- Inland Deserts Region: (855) 887-1275
CDFW trout hatcheries are dedicated to providing millions of additional trout angling opportunities in approved, public waters throughout the state every year, using the best available science, and ecological, hatchery and resource management principles.