‘Extremely Rare’ Brown Trout Found in Sacramento River Fish Trap in Redding

At the Keswick Dam on the Sacramento River in Redding, wildlife officials at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery use a fish trap to capture winter Chinook salmon. They recently caught a big, beautiful fish that isn’t something they see everyday in the Sac.

A 29-inch brown trout was discovered in the Keswick Dam fish trap recently, proving to anglers on the river that these elusive fish are, in fact, in the Lower Sacramento River, even if they aren’t seen very often. The officials snapped a photo of the rare fish before releasing it back into the water:

Kaitlin Gooding/ USFWS

These brown trout typically aren’t seen on the Sac, which is known for its beautiful rainbow trout and Chinook salmon.

“I personally have never seen one,” said Active NorCal’s fish expert Chip O’Brien, who wrote an entire book about fishing the Sacramento River. “I have some friends who have seen them, but I only hear about it around once every five years. They are extremely rare to see.”

Part of the reason these fish are so rare is that they are fall spawners, but with little water in the river during that time of year, the fish are very rare to see. Meanwhile, rainbow trout are spring spawners and have the perfect ecosystem on the Sacramento River.

What an awesome find by wildlife officials! While we wouldn’t recommend fishing for these fish, it’s cool to know a few of them are still living in the river.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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