Links for the Little Kern Golden


The EcoAngler Report

Researching the Little Kern Golden Trout? Get scientific based angling intel in The EcoAngler Report - Little Kern Golden Trout.

The EcoAngler Report - Little Kern Golden Trout Detailed information on it's range along with a map and directions to put you in reach of this native rainbow can be purchased here.

An Adobe PDF document will be made available at the end of the purchase check-out. Select Return to the Ecological Angler to view your copy of The EcoAngler Report - Little Kern Golden Trout.

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California's Native Fish Crisis

Caltrout Issues Report on Native Fish CrisisCalTrout issues a detailed status report of California native fish. Warning: Large PDF File.


Little Kern Golden Trout

The Little Kern golden trout appears brightly colored with profuse spots on the back and tail. The belly and cheeks are bright red to red-orange, the lower sides are bright gold, the lateral band is red-orange, and the back is deep olive green. Little Kern golden trout typically retain up to 10 parr marks (vertical dark oval spots) on each side as adults. The picture below, contributed by Eric Herve of Napa California, illustrates the color and markings of the Little Kern golden. (Eric also completed his California Heritage Trout Challenge in 2005 earning him certificate No. 14. Nice!)

Little Kern Golden trout

The Little Kern subspecies is distinguishable from the California golden trout found in the South Fork of the Kern River primarily by spotting characteristics and parr marks. Unlike the South Fork population, the Little Kern golden trout typically has many spots on the head and below the lateral line. (This spotting is evident in the photo below; contributed by Scott Lyons.)

Little Kern Golden trout

The parr marks are arranged vertically on both sides of the body with an intermediate row of smaller ones often occurring just below the main row.


The Little Kern golden trout native habitat is the Little Kern River (above the falls on the lower river) and the accessible reaches of its major tributaries in Tulare County. The Little Kern drainage occurs predominately within the Golden Trout Wilderness of Sequoia National Forest. A portion of the Little Kern drainage occurs in Sequoia National Park. Transplants and introgression with coastal rainbow trout have drastically altered this range. Later transplants of nonnative trout into the Little Kern River basin displaced the species from many of its historic habitats.

Little Kern Golden trout underwater

California Heritage Trout Challenge

The Little Kern Golden trout caught, photoed, and released in its native range qualifies for the California Heritage Trout Challenge. Scott Lyons also send me the above photo of a Little Kern Golden swimming off. Scott completed his Heritage Trout Challenge and is now helping friends on their quest for California natives.

What is the Little Kern golden trout's native range? Send an email to the EcoAngler and I can recommend some waters to fish.