Concerned about deteriorating ﬁshing conditions throughout the state, a passionate group of anglers founded California Trout in 1971. CalTrout was the nation’s ﬁrst statewide conservation group supported by trout and steelhead ﬁshermen. They had a simple mission: to protect and restore wild trout and steelhead waters throughout California. By 1972, the organization had acquired a few hundred members and delivered two landmark victories: The California Wild Trout Program and The California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
The California Wild Trout Program
This program was established in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Game (now the California Department of Fish and Wildlife) to protect and enhance quality trout ﬁsheries sustained by natural reproduction. The Program now protects over 1,000 miles of wild trout streams.
The California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
This act was formed to preserve designated rivers possessing extraordinary scenic, recreation, ﬁshery or wildlife values. Today it permanently protects 1,800 miles of free-ﬂowing streams.
These early successes helped CalTrout gain public recognition and the organization began to grow. With growth came professionalism, a full-time staff, ﬁeld managers, increased membership, and of course, ongoing accomplishments. As the state has grown and the ﬁght for resources has become ever more complicated, CalTrout strives to solve the state’s resource issues while balancing the needs of wild ﬁsh and people.