The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Oncorhynchus aguabonita
Oncorhynchus aguabonita
(Golden Trout)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
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).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Oncorhynchus aguabonita are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AZ197119732Lower Colorado Region; Upper Santa Cruz
CA1976200117California; Crowley Lake; East Walker; Lake Tahoe; Mono Lake; Newport Bay; Owens Lake; Upper Carson; Upper Kaweah; Upper Kern; Upper King; Upper Merced; Upper San Joaquin; Upper Stanislaus; Upper Tuolumne; Upper Yuba; West Walker
CO197119986Colorado Headwaters; North Platte; North Platte Headwaters; San Luis; South Platte; Upper Gunnison
ID1930201133Big Lost; Big Wood; Kootenai; Lake Walcott; Lemhi; Little Lost; Little Salmon; Lochsa; Lower Kootenai; Lower Middle Fork Salmon; Lower Selway; Lower Snake; Middle Salmon-Chamberlain; Middle Salmon-Panther; North and Middle Forks Boise; North Fork Payette; Pacific Northwest; Pacific Northwest Region; Pahsimeroi; Pend Oreille Lake; Priest; South Fork Clearwater; South Fork Payette; South Fork Salmon; Spokane; St. Joe; Upper Middle Fork Salmon; Upper North Fork Clearwater; Upper Salmon; Upper Selway; Upper Snake; Upper Snake; Upper Snake-Rock
MI187618761Lake Huron
MT1907201015Beaverhead; Big Hole; Clarks Fork Yellowstone; Flint-Rock; Gallatin; Lower Clark Fork; Lower Yellowstone-Sunday; Madison; Middle Kootenai; Stillwater; Stillwater; Swan; Upper Clark Fork; Upper Yellowstone; Yellowstone Headwaters
NV191820015Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys; Humboldt; Lake Tahoe; South Fork Humboldt; Upper Humboldt
OR197319943Lower Snake; Pacific Northwest Region; Wallowa
WA193619993Pacific Northwest Region; Skykomish; Upper Skagit
WY197020015Big Horn; Big Sandy; New Fork; Upper Bighorn; Upper North Platte

Table last updated 6/22/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

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: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

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: 3/29/2012

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, 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: 3/29/2012, Access Date: 6/23/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/23/2024].

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