Fisherman Nearly Breaks California Record with 25-Pound Rainbow Trout on Feather River

A fisherman had one heck of a day in the Thermalito Diversion Pool on the Feather River on Friday, May 22. He scored a fish so big that it fell just short of the California record.

Joshua Giordano landed a 25.5-pound rainbow trout just below the Oroville Dam, which taped in at 35 inches in length and 25 inches in girth. Although he usually releases his fish back into the water, he kept this particular fish in order to submit its official weight on the certified scale at the Feather River Fish Hatchery, thinking it was near a record.

It turns out the fish was just a pound and a half short of the California record, which currently sits at 27 pounds for a inland rainbow trout.

The record sizes for trout in California are all near the size of Giordano’s fish. The record inland rainbow fish was caught on Lake Natoma in 2005 with a weight of 27 pounds. The record steelhead was caught on the Smith River in 1976, weighing in at 27 pounds, 4 ounces. And the domestic rainbow trout record was caught on a private lake in Butte County, weighing a whopping 28 pounds, 5 ounces.

The Thermalito Pool below Lake Oroville is known to house plenty of fish that grow to be might fat feeding on the Japanese pondsmelt. Sitting in the the Lake Oroville Recreation Area, the tailwater fishery is popular for both trout and salmon fishermen.

Giordano caught the rainbow on a swimbait under a bobber using a 10-foot 6 SST Okuma 10 to 20-pound line rod teamed up with a Helios 3500 series reel. His fish was hooked on 25-pound test Power Pro line attached to a 15-pound Seagar leader.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. While this is awesome I am sad to hear the fish was kept. I keep a weight scale, measuring tape and a World Record Application on my boat just in case I land a big one.

    1. I think it must be recorded on official scales to qualify, which he said he normally releases but thought it might be a record.

    2. This fish was also illegal to keep as it was a wild steelhead and is illegal to keep. Before fishing you should know the regulations for the water you are fishing. It also require the use of a steel head report card.

      1. Dennis If it was a steel head we would be reading about his ticket and loss of fishing gear and Brian what is with the stereo typing? I am registered as a democrat I own firearms, I have a t-shirt that says “Filet and Release” and I believe that one should think for themselves, not what a group says. Only a few are far right or far left, Eat more fish and wild game vs. pen raised……

  2. It was not a Steelhead, but a landlocked trout in a secondary reservoir. Not the river. Study maps and Ca regs, first b4 you post and you wont sound like a gong.

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