Take the challenge!
By catching six different forms of California native trout from their historic drainages and photographing these fish you can receive a colorful, personalized certificate featuring the art of renowned fish illustrator Joseph Tomelleri. Your certificate will show six full-color images representing the trout you caught, along with the dates and locations. It is sized to fit in a standard 16" x 20" matted frame.
We welcome you to “take the Challenge,” explore new waters across the state, and appreciate the diverse recreational fishing opportunities California has to offer.
To qualify for the Challenge, six different native trout must be caught within their historic range. The historic range, for the purpose of the Challenge, includes the trout’s native distribution in California, prior to human influence (pre-19th century), and all waters that feed into this watershed.
For example, catching a Lahontan cutthroat trout in Heenan Lake (Alpine County) qualifies for the Challenge. Although historically fishless, the lake outlet flows into the East Fork Carson River, where Lahontan cutthroat trout were once the only trout to inhabit this system. It is within their historic and native range.
Conversely, native species have been stocked in waters outside their native range to provide additional sport fishing opportunities. California golden trout can now be caught in many high-elevation streams and lakes across the Sierra Nevada; however, only those from the South Fork Kern River or Golden Trout Creek drainages qualify as a heritage species for the Challenge.
These three subspecies of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) and eight forms of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are your targets to complete the Challenge:
Click to enlarge
Submit a completed Application Form (PDF) along with your trout photos to:
CDFW Fisheries Branch
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Part of "taking the Challenge” will include learning more about the native trout of California, where they are found, and what is being done to conserve and restore these “Heritage Trout.” The following information is offered to help you complete the Challenge:
830 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811 | (916) 327-8840
Artwork by Tim Gunther, Gunther Graphics
Heritage and Wild Trout Program