LEVEL OF CONCERN: CRITICAL
Kern River Rainbow trout have a high probability of disappearing as a distinct entity in the next 50 years, if not sooner. The greatest threat is hybridization with Coastal Rainbow trout, but competition and predation from invasive Brown and Brook trout may also be contributing to its decline.
The most recent genetic evidence suggests that there are far fewer relatively “pure” Kern River Rainbow trout populations than previously thought left in the wild, and that many trout thought to be Kern River Rainbows are actually Kern River/Coastal Rainbow trout hybrids. Drought conditions have desiccated headwater meadows and some portions of streams, reducing the availability of cold water during summer months and elevating stream temperatures to levels that are harmful to trout.
Scroll down for more information about the Kern River Rainbow trout. To read the full species account, click here.
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Fish photo, Jim Inman. Water photo,Wyatt Horsley. People photo, Jacob Katz.