Wild Rainbow Trout in Los Angeles, California

Southern California's wild rainbow trout represent the remnants of a species slowly vanishing from the region. Some may be distantly related to the endangered California steelhead that still roam the ocean, seeking to return to coastal rivers and streams. Others are the descendants of rainbow trout stocked during the early days of pioneer settlements in the region, bringing life and vigor to cold mountain streams previously uninhabited by sportfish.

The drought has not treated these fish kindly, yet in remote creeks a few still survive. On a recent journey after the welcome rainstorms, I journeyed to one such location, and was pleased to find these finned, glistening trophies. All were safely released back into their pools, after a quick photo or video. You may recall the Trout Box post I wrote about several years ago, and it made a re-appearance on this trip, offering a safe location for photographs with less handling. 

I've read that the drought, which has affected around 90% of California, continues to recede, now dropping to around 50%. These numbers are encouraging but show just how dry the state is. Here's to hoping and praying for more precipitation to keep these streams and their rainbow treasures alive!

Happy New Year.

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Be nice.