Oncorhynchus aguabonita
Oncorhynchus aguabonita
(Golden Trout)
Native Transplant
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Oncorhynchus aguabonita (Jordan, 1892)

Common name: Golden Trout

Synonyms and Other Names: O. aguabonita, Salmo aguabonita, South Fork Kern golden trout

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Sigler and Sigler (1987); Page and Burr (1991); Behnke (1992, 2002); Moyle (2002); Wydoski and Whitney (2003). Some authors (e.g., Page and Burr 1991) consider Golden Trout within the South Fork Kern River and Little Kern River drainages to be a distinct species (O. aguabonita).

Size: 71 cm.

Native Range: Endemic to Golden Trout Creek (tributary of the upper Kern River) and the upper middle and upper portions of the South Fork Kern River, Tulare and Kern counties, California (Page and Burr 1991; Behnke 2002).

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Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: The Golden Trout has been introduced into many western areas including Santa Cruz County in Arizona (Minckley 1973; Rinne 1995); over 300 mountain streams, Lake Tahoe, and lakes in the Central Valley, Mono, Owens and Lahontan drainages and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California (Miller and Alcorn 1946; Sigler and Sigler 1987; Tilmant 1999; Moyle 2002); lakes in the North Platte, South Platte, Rio Grande, and Gunnison drainages in Colorado (Everhart and Seaman 1971; Wiltzius 1985; Zuckerman and Behnke 1986; Walker 1993; Rasmussen 1998); Kootenai, Snake, and Spokane River drainages and several lakes in independent drainages, introduced into Custer, Idaho, and Valley counties in 1939 in Idaho (Linder 1963; Simpson and Wallace 1978; Idaho Fish and Game 1990, 2007); the Clark Fork, upper Yellowstone and upper Missouri drainages and many lakes in Montana (Brown 1971; Marcuson 1984; Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990); lakes in the Ruby Mountains, the Humboldt drainage, Hidden Lakes, and Lake Tahoe in Nevada (Miller and Alcorn 1946; La Rivers 1962; Sigler and Sigler 1987; Insider Viewpoint 2001); non-specific areas in New Mexico (Sublette et al. 1990); high lakes and streams in Wallowa County, Eagle Cap Wilderness Area, and a few other locations in Oregon (Bond 1973, 1994; State of Oregon 2000; Li, personal communication); Echo Lake, Corn Creek, and Atwood Creek in Utah (Sigler and Miller 1963; Sigler and Sigler 1996); several small lakes in the Skykomish system and North Cascades National Park of Washington (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 1997; Tilmant 1999; Wydoski and Whitney 2003); and Cooks Lake in Sublette County, and lakes in the Wind River, Big Horn, and Medicine Bow mountains in Wyoming (Brown 1971; Sigler and Sigler 1987; Hubert 1994).

Means of Introduction: Authorized introductions for sportfishing. First introduced in Arizona in 1971 (Rinne 1995) and in Idaho in 1939 (Linder 1963). According to Marcuson (1984), Col. Sherman and his brother carried 13 specimens in a coffee pot from Mulkey Creek (tributary of South Fork Kern River) to Cottonwood Creek in CA in 1876.  E. H. Edwards then planted some of the Cottonwood Creek fish into Cottonwood Lakes in 1981.  A "spawning station" was established at the Cottonwood Lakes in 1917 which became the source of Golden Trout eggs.  Betweeen 1928 and 1938, the eggs were shipped to the National Fish Hatchery in Bozeman (but name is now the Fish Cultural Development Center).  Various lakes in MT were stocked with eggs from the Cottonwood Lake station (Marcuson 1984).

Status: Established populations recorded for California, Montana, Utah, and Washington. Populations in the high-elevation lakes in the Ruby Mountains, Nevada, no longer exist (Deacon and Williams 1984). Also extirpated in New Mexico.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: The introduction into New Jersey (Stiles 1978) may have actually been based on stocking of "Golden Trout", a mutant form of rainbow trout raised in hatcheries (Behnke, personal communication).

References: (click for full references)

Behnke, R.J. 1992. Native trout of western North America. American Fisheries Society Monograph 6. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Behnke, R.J. 2002. Trout and salmon of North America. The Free Press, New York, NY.

Bond, C.E. 1973. Keys to Oregon freshwater fishes, revised.. Oregon State University Agriculture Experimental Station Technical Bulletin 58:1-42.

Bond, C.E. 1994. Keys to Oregon freshwater fishes. Oregon State University Bookstores, Corvallis, OR.

Brown, C.J.D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

Cross, F.B., R.L. Mayden, and J.D. Stewart. 1986. Fishes in the western Mississippi basin (Missouri, Arkansas, and Red Rivers). 363-412 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Deacon, J.E., and J.E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.

Everhart, W.H. and W.R. Seaman. 1971. Fishes of Colorado. Colorado Game, Fish and Parks Division, Denver, CO.

Holton, G.D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT.

Hubert, W. 1994. Exotic fishes. 158-174 in T.L. Parish and S.H. Anderson, eds. Exotic species manual. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Laramie, WY.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 1990. Fisheries management plan 1991-1995. Appendix I - a list of Idaho fishes and their distribution by drainage. Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 2007. Fisheries management plan 2007-2012. Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Insider Viewpoint. 2001. Fishing Records – Nevada. Insider Viewpoint Magazine. 3 pp.

La Rivers, I. 1962. Fishes and fisheries of Nevada. Nevada State Print Office, Carson City, NV.

Linder, A.D. 1963. Idaho's alien fishes. Tebiwa 6:12-15.

Marcuson, P. E. 1984. The history and present status of golden trout in Montana. State of Montana, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Fisheries Division.

Miller, R.R., and J.R. Alcorn. 1946. The introduced fishes of Nevada, with a history of their introduction. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 73:173-193.

Minckley, W. L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Fish and Game Department. Sims Printing Company, Inc., Phoenix, AZ.

Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Guide Series, vol. 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.

Rinne, J.N. 1995. The effects of introduced fishes on native fishes: Arizona, Southwestern United States. 149-159 in D.P. Philipp, J.M. Epifanio, J.E. Marsden, J.E. Claussen, and R.J. Wolotira, Jr., eds. Protection of aquatic diversity. Proceedings of the World Fisheries Congress, Theme 3. Oxford & IBH Publishing Company, New Delhi.

Sigler, W.F., and R.R. Miller. 1963. Fishes of Utah. Utah State Department of Fish and Game, Salt Lake City, UT.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1987. Fishes of the Great Basin: a natural history. University of Nevada Press, Reno, NV.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah: a natural history. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.

Simpson, J., and R. Wallace. 1978. Fishes of Idaho. University of Idaho Press, Moscow, ID.

State of Oregon. 2000. Warm Water Game Fish Records. 7 pp.

Stiles, E.W. 1978. Vertebrates of New Jersey. Edmund W. Stiles, Somerset, NJ.

Sublette, J.E., M.D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Wiltzius, W.J. 1985. Fish culture and stocking in Colorado, 1872-1978. Division Report 12. Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Wydoski, R.S., and R.R. Whitney. 2003. Inland fishes of Washington. Second edition. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

Zuckerman, L.D., and R.J. Behnke. 1986. Introduced fishes in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. 435-452 in R.H. Stroud, ed. Fish culture in fisheries management. Proceedings of a symposium on the role of fish culture in fisheries management at Lake Ozark, MO, March 31-April 3, 1985. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 3/29/2012

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Oncorhynchus aguabonita (Jordan, 1892): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=889, Revision Date: 3/29/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/19/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/19/2018].

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