Climate, Cows & the California Golden Trout

Earth Island Journal Report on California Golden TroutEarth Island Journal published my story on the threat cows pose to California golden trout.


The EcoAngler Report

Planning a trip to Golden Trout Creek? Get scientific based angling intel in The EcoAngler Report - Golden Trout Creek.

The EcoAngler Report - Golden Trout Creek

Detailed information on Golden Trout Creek's native California golden population along with a map and directions to access this remote Sierra Nevada stream can be purchased here.

An Adobe PDF document will be made available with your purchase. Select Return to the Ecological Angler to view and save your purchase.


Golden Trout Creek

Golden Trout Creek in California

Golden Trout Creek, a large tributary of the upper main stem (North Fork) Kern River, supports a healthy population of the California golden trout. The Golden Trout Creek drainage flows roughly 19 miles total moving south and then west from the Cirque Peak-Siberian Pass area of the southern Sierra Nevada. Its confluence with the Kern River is within the Kern River Canyon just inside the boundary of Sequoia National Park. This stream and its tributaries were designated by the California Department Fish and Game Commission as A Wild Trout water in 1997.

Golden Trout caught and released

Golden Trout Creek offers native golden trout as well as an amazing alpine meadow in Big Whitney Meadow and canyon settings in the lower section.

Golden Trout Creek as it meanders through Big Whitney Meadow

The upper section of the creek meanders through a succession of alpine meadows – the largest of these meadows called “Big Whitney Meadow.”

California Golden Trout photographed underwater.

In this relatively level section of Golden Trout Creek, the water flows gently with the occasional rapid, and small cascades boosting the current and the oxygen level of the water. From its headwaters to its intersection with the western end of Tunnel Meadows, the creek drops about 1,300 to 1,600 ft.

Golden Trout Creek flows faster along willow lined banks on its way to Tunnel Meadow

The lower section – running west of Tunnel Meadows to its confluence with the Kern River – is markedly different. (The section pictured above illustrates the changes including more willows along the creek and more large rocks throughout it's course.) Rapids, cascades, and sheer falls of large proportions and natural beauty follow each other in a series of drops. Only in Groundhog Meadow and a few smaller meadows are any quiet reaches found.