CA Heritage Trout Challenge

The 12 Qualifying Trout:

  • Coastal & Resident Rainbow

    O. mykiss irideus

  • Steelhead

    O. mykiss irideus

  • Eagle Lake Rainbow

    O. mykiss aquilarum

  • Kern River Rainbow

    O. mykiss gilberti

  • California Golden

    O. mykiss aguabonita

  • Little Kern Golden

    O. mykiss whitei

  • McCloud Reband

    O. mykiss stonei

  • Warner Lakes Reband

    O. mykiss newberi subs.

  • Goose Lake Redband

    O. mykiss newberri subs.

  • Coastal Cutthroat

    O. clarki clarki

  • Lahontan Cutthroat

    O. clarki henshawi

  • Paiute Cutthroat

    O. clarki seleniris

  • Information & Requirements:

    The California Heritage Trout Challenge is a wonderful program, adventure, quest, experience, opportunity or whatever adjective you want to use to describe the events, planning, and research needed to catching (at least) 6 of the 12 native trout to their native drainages. The qualifying trout fall into three categories: rainbow trout, redband trout, and cutthroat trout.

    The means with which people achieve their certificates vary. We've heard of some fishermen who qualified for the challenge without even knowing it existed. Some anglers attempt to conquer the challenge as quickly as possible and knock it out in a 4-day period. Others patiently plan and, in time, succeed. Others want two certificates which show all 12 fish. Some attempt the challenge every year and have amassed quite an array of framed art on their office walls.

    Jim's approach was simple: he wanted to catch the most representative specimens that he could. He wanted his submissions to be living models of the Tomelleri renderings. This doesn't make his fish any better or worse than another person's. He simply strove to catch phenotypic examples of the species. In time, he plans to do the same for the other 6 species and prays that SKC opens before he's too old to hoist a pack and spend a good number of nights in the wilderness looking for the "perfect" Paiute cutthroat. Below you can see the photos of the 6 qualifying trout he submitted for his certificate in 2013.


  • The Application

    Once you've caught your qualifying fish, fill this out and submit it to the DF&W.

  • The Guidebook

    This CA DF&W published guidebook will help you learn about the various waters, ecosystems, and trout you will encounter on your adventure for the HTC Certificate.