The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will provide trout anglers in the greater Sacramento area with an unprecedented fishing opportunity this winter: the chance to catch brook trout from a half-dozen urban and suburban park ponds and lakes that are part of CDFW’s Fishing in the City program. Fishing in the City began in 1993 to provide recreational fishing and outdoor opportunities to California’s urban, suburban and underserved communities.
“These are good-looking fish,” said Jason Julienne, the senior environmental scientist who supervises CDFW’s North Central Region fish hatcheries. “They fight hard, they’re aggressive and they’re good table fare. This is a unique opportunity for anglers using these urban fisheries to catch a very special fish.”
CDFW’s American River Trout Hatchery typically provides rainbow trout to the Fishing in the City – Sacramento Metro Area program during the winter months, when ambient temperatures become cool enough to support trout in these low-elevation waters. Unfortunately, due to the drought conditions experienced throughout the state this past summer, the American River Trout Hatchery was forced to evacuate all its fish as warming water temperatures would have proved fatal to the various cold-water trout species the hatchery raises.
Through a coordinated effort with CDFW’s Moccasin Creek Hatchery in Tuolumne County, 19,000 brook trout were transferred to the American River Trout Hatchery to support winter angling opportunities within Sacramento County. The brook trout, now 10 to 13 inches long, will be planted in participating Fishing in the City waters from January through March.
Participating waters include those at Granite Regional Park, North Natomas Regional Park, Mather Regional Park, Hagan Community Park, Howe Community Park and Elk Grove Regional Park. General dates and locations of stocking are available at CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule.
Native to the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada, brook trout were brought to California in the late 1800s and are now found in mountain lakes and streams from the San Bernardino Mountains north to the Oregon state line. They are most abundant in the high-elevation waters of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Brook trout are popular with anglers both for their eating quality and striking appearance. Their coloration ranges from olive-green to olive-brown, often with reddish hues. They have red spots surrounded by blue halos and white, leading edges on their pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. Both sexes can become brightly colored during spawning season in the fall. Learn more at CDFW’s brook trout webpage.
The brook trout being stocked into Sacramento-area waters are triploid, meaning sterile. Pre-stocking evaluations have taken place in all the waters to be planted to ensure the brook trout will not compete with, threaten or displace any native species.
To learn more about the Fishing in the City program, visit CDFW’s Fishing in the City webpage.