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When Does Trout Season End in California

When Does Trout Season End in California?

Trout fishing is a popular recreational activity in California, attracting anglers from all over the state and beyond. With its diverse and abundant fishing opportunities, the state offers a wide range of trout species, including rainbow, brown, and brook trout. However, before planning your fishing trip, it is crucial to know when the trout season ends in California, as regulations vary depending on the region and species.

Trout season generally starts in late April or May, coinciding with the spring when the water temperatures begin to rise. This is the time when trout become more active and start feeding actively. The season typically extends through the summer months, providing ample time for anglers to pursue their favorite fish.

In California, trout season end dates differ across the state, mainly due to varying climate conditions and regulations set by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The end of the trout season can range from the end of September to as late as November, depending on the specific location.

In the Eastern Sierra, which is known for its exceptional trout fishing, the end of the season is typically around November 15th. This region encompasses popular fishing spots like the Mammoth Lakes Basin, the Owens River, and the famous trout-filled waters of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Anglers flock to this area to catch trophy-sized trout before the season comes to a close.

In contrast, the trout season in the Sierra Nevada and Central Valley regions usually ends on September 30th. These areas, including renowned fishing destinations like the Feather River, the American River, and the Sacramento River, offer exceptional trout fishing opportunities during the season. Anglers can enjoy the scenic beauty of these regions while casting their lines for rainbow and brown trout.

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It is essential to note that while these are general end dates, specific regulations may vary by water body, so it is crucial to consult the CDFW website or local fishing regulations for accurate and up-to-date information on trout fishing in California.


Q: Can I fish for trout outside of the official trout season?
A: It is important to adhere to the official trout season dates set by the CDFW. Fishing for trout outside of the designated season is against the law and can result in fines or other penalties.

Q: Are there any special regulations or restrictions during trout season?
A: Yes, there are specific regulations and restrictions in place to protect the trout population and ensure sustainable fishing. These may include catch limits, size restrictions, and certain areas designated as catch-and-release only. Anglers are advised to familiarize themselves with the regulations for each specific water body before fishing.

Q: Do I need a fishing license to fish for trout in California?
A: Yes, a valid California fishing license is required for anyone 16 years of age or older. Licenses are available for purchase online or at various authorized vendors throughout the state.

Q: Can I keep the trout I catch during the season?
A: In most cases, anglers are allowed to keep a limited number of trout within the size and catch limits set by the regulations. However, there are areas with special regulations where catch-and-release is mandatory. It is important to know the specific regulations for the water body you are fishing in.

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Q: Are there any restrictions on using bait or artificial lures?
A: Regulations regarding bait and lures vary by water body. Some areas may have bait restrictions to prevent the spread of invasive species, while others may allow both bait and artificial lures. It is advisable to review the regulations for the specific fishing location you plan to visit.

In conclusion, the trout season in California typically begins in late April or May and extends through the summer months until the end of September or November, depending on the region. Regulations and season end dates may vary across the state, so it is important to consult the CDFW website or local fishing regulations to ensure compliance. By adhering to the regulations and practicing responsible fishing, anglers can enjoy a rewarding trout fishing experience in the beautiful waters of California.

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