- Wild trout: A trout that was born in the wild and lives its life cycle in the wild, regardless of the origin of its parents.
- Native trout: A trout that was originally found in its California home waters prior to human influence. Examples include: California Golden Trout and Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout
- Non-native trout: A trout that was introduced to California from other places outside the state. Examples include: Brown Trout, Brook Trout
A California native trout can be non-native when it is introduced to waters that were not part of its original native range. Example: Rainbow Trout introduced to waters east of the Sierra Nevada crest.