The bull trout is a charr. It has fine scales (compared to other trout), light colored spots on the body, and paired and anal fins with white leading edges. The body color is typically olive green with tiny yellowish spots on the back and small red spots on the sides.
Bull Trout are Extinct in California
The last known bull trout was caught and released in California back in 1975. Attempts to reintroduce the bull trout to the McCloud River from Oregon have failed. Additional effort will succeed or fail based on the recovery of the best source populations in the Klamath River basin.
Contributing Factors to its Extinction
- Depletion of salmon - in the 19th century the McCloud River supported at least two runs of chinook salmon, a run of steelhead, and a small run of coho.
- Introduction of brook trout to the McCloud River
- Introduction of brown trout to the McCloud River
- The construction of Shasta Dam and Reservoir
- The construction of McCloud Dam and Reservoir
Photo of California Golden Trout by P. Michael Carl © The Ecological Angler