Fishermen Show Off Bright ‘Lightning Trout’ Caught in NorCal Reservoirs

We’ve all become pretty familiar with the different variations of trout caught in Northern California – rainbow, brown, brook, etc. But there’s a unique trout that fishermen are catching in NorCal and they’re electric!

Golden rainbow trout, otherwise known as “Lightning Trout,” are gold-orange rainbow trout raised under artificial fish culture conditions and stocked as a novelty for angling sport. The golden rainbow was developed from one fish, a single female trout with a genetic mutation that gave her a mixed golden and normal rainbow trout coloration. They’ve also been called albino rainbow trout.

Lightning Trout caught on Lake Pardee. Photo: Judy Clark

These fish are only seen in reservoirs with stocking systems, since spawning in the wild is unlikely due to their high visibility in streams to both anglers and predators like blue herons and ospreys.

NorCal fisherman are seeing these Lightning Trout in NorCal lakes like Lake Pardee, Lake Amador and Silver Lake. Photos have been emerging online of the rare looking trout:

Photo: Chris Dunham

These photos show some decent size fish, but they pale in comparison to the 10-pound fish caught by 8-year-old Cassidy Frazier on Lake Amador in 2019:

In fact, Lake Amador is known to have a lot of the mutant fish in its waters:

Photo: Lake Amador Resort
Photo: Lake Amador Resort

Watch this cool video of a guy fishing for Lightning Trout on Lake Amador:

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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