Illustration by Jose Curtice

You will find the colorful golden trout in the small streams of the Kern Plateau and in the Kern River of California. Golden trout are threatened because too many other fish species share their water. A special characteristic of golden trout is that they are one of the few trout to keep the dark oval-shaped parr marks that appear along the sides of their bodies throughout their lifetimes. Golden trout are the California state fish and are sometimes called the “fish from heaven.” One of the most beautiful animals in nature, golden trout are known for their brilliant gold-yellow to deep red color. Golden trout have a lively stripe of crimson-red along their lateral lines, and clear white edges along their fins.

(adapted from the Native Fish column in Trout magazine, written by Gregg Patterson — image from