Fishing for Excessive Sierra Golden Trout
One of many main components in figuring out my backpacking locations is centered on fishing for Golden Trout. The California Golden Trout was designated the official state fish of California in 1947. Hatchery- raised fish prolonged the vary of the golden trout to many waters at excessive elevation within the Sierra Nevadas and likewise different states.Their native populations are actually strained because of the introduction of invasive species and habitat destruction and their introduction in to the excessive elevation lakes has strained different native plant and animal species.
The coloration of the California golden trout is spectacularly shiny. The stomach and cheeks are shiny crimson to shiny orange, the decrease sides are shiny gold, the central lateral band is crimson orange, and the again is deep olive inexperienced.
Early Sierra settlers had been as enamored with golden trout as trendy anglers are right now. Magnificence reminiscent of this, they reasoned, should not be restricted to such a small space.
Early 1900s Kernville resident Ardis Walker wrote;
“Lots of the pioneer guests to golden trout waters reacted with a want that was nearly compulsive; they shared a standard missionary urge to unfold the golden magnificence and lifetime of this native habitat to the barren waters of extra elevated and extra easterly and northern lakes and streams.”
It was frequent apply for settlers to hold golden trout in buckets of water on the backs of mules for as much as every week at a time, stocking 1000’s of fish alongside the way in which. Some stored meticulous information; others none in any respect.
Research on the influence on vegetation and the Yellow Legged Frog as a consequence of stocking of trout in in any other case fishless excessive sierra lakes led to the top of this exercise and now golden trout are discovered solely in excessive lakes (10,000+ ft). They’re not stocked and are solely present in lakes the place they’re independent.
To reverse the harm finished to the Yellow Legged Frog and different flora non native trout species have been eliminated by gill netting. The very best fishing has traditionally been in lakes at, or close to the Kern headwaters and to the south. These embody Lake South America, Crabtree Lakes, Wright Lakes, Wallace and Wales Lake amongst others. Latest journeys have discovered the fishing not nearly as good in a few of these lakes however nonetheless very sturdy in others.
I launch a lot of the fish I catch as a result of it’s unlawful to have camp fires on the excessive elevations the place the fish are discovered and cooking them on a range is difficult. When you just like the style of recent trout it’s value it. On a current journey I spoke with a veteran backpacker and fisherman who stated that she poaches them. That’s an alternative choice which I’ve not tried.