Lake trout from the Laurentian Great Lakes were first introduced into California in 1886 by the Nevada Fish Commission. In the following years, many more lake trout were propagated and planted. Today lake trout can be found in California lakes such as Tahoe, Donner, Fallen Leaf, Sly Park Reservoir, Caples Reservoir, and Gold Lake.


Lake Trout (Mackinaw)

Lake trout are easy to recognize by their deeply forked tails, and their irregular white to yellow spots on a background of light green that completely covers their body. A pale white border can also be found on the leading edges of the paired and anal fins. Lake trout have a broad head and large mouth with the maxillae extending past the eye.

lake trout photo

Lake trout are now present in a significant number of larger lakes throughout the Sierra Nevada.

Lake Trout - California Range Map

Lake trout California Range Map

Range Map Provided by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Biology at UC Davis

Photo of California Golden Trout by P. Michael Carl © The Ecological Angler