What Size Trout Can You Keep in California?
Trout fishing is a popular activity in California, attracting anglers from all over the country. However, it’s important to know the regulations and restrictions when it comes to keeping trout. In this article, we’ll explore the size limits for trout in California and provide you with all the information you need to ensure you’re fishing within the legal guidelines.
Understanding Size Limits
Size limits are put in place to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. In California, trout size limits vary depending on the species and the specific water body you’re fishing in. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common trout species and their size restrictions:
Rainbow trout are one of the most sought-after game fish in California. The size limit for rainbow trout varies depending on whether you’re fishing in inland waters or coastal waters.
- Inland Waters:
- Rainbow trout caught in inland waters must be a minimum of 10 inches long to keep.
- There is no maximum size limit for rainbow trout in inland waters, so anglers can keep larger fish if they choose.
- Coastal Waters:
- Rainbow trout caught in coastal waters must be a minimum of 16 inches long to keep.
- The maximum size limit for rainbow trout in coastal waters is 20 inches, meaning any fish exceeding this length must be released back into the water.
Brown trout are another popular species among California anglers. The size limits for brown trout are as follows:
- Inland Waters:
- Brown trout caught in inland waters must be a minimum of 12 inches long to keep.
- Similar to rainbow trout, there is no maximum size limit for brown trout in inland waters.
- Coastal Waters:
- Brown trout caught in coastal waters must also be a minimum of 12 inches long to keep.
- There is no maximum size limit for brown trout in coastal waters, allowing anglers to retain larger specimens.
In addition to size limits, there are other regulations that anglers should be aware of when fishing for trout in California. These include bag limits, possession limits, and fishing seasons. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these regulations before heading out on your fishing trip to avoid any legal issues.
A bag limit refers to the number of fish an angler is allowed to catch and keep within a specified time period. In California, the general bag limit for trout is five fish per day per angler. However, certain areas may have specific bag limits or restrictions, so it’s essential to check the local regulations before fishing.
Possession limits refer to the maximum number of fish an angler can have in their possession at any given time. In California, the possession limit for trout is twice the daily bag limit. For example, if the daily bag limit is five fish, the possession limit would be ten fish.
Trout fishing seasons can also vary depending on the water body and the specific trout species. It’s crucial to check the fishing regulations for the area you plan to fish, as some waters may have specific open and closed seasons.
Knowing the size limits for trout in California is essential to ensure you’re fishing within the legal guidelines. Remember, these regulations are put in place to protect fish populations and maintain sustainable fishing practices.
Always consult local fishing regulations and be sure to measure your catch accurately before deciding whether to keep or release it. Happy fishing!