California's natural heritage includes one of the most diverse assemblages of native trout found in the United States. Over the millennia, 12 different types of trout evolved to inhabit the diverse habitats found in California. These include temperate rain forests, high deserts, large inland rivers, isolated lake basins and mountain streams.

The California Heritage Trout Challenge was designed to promote the ecological and aesthetic values of native trout and their habitats, encourage anglers to learn more about the state’s natural heritage and build public support for native trout restoration efforts.

To qualify for the challenge, six different native trout must be caught within their historic ranges. The requirements to document your catch include where, when and how each fish was caught, along with a photograph of the trout. Those who complete the challenge, receive a colorful, personalized certificate featuring the art of renowned fish illustrator Joseph Tomelleri.

For the native trout fanatic or for those who want to extend their pursuit of the challenge, CDFW created the elite Master Angler recognition for those who capture and document all 11 subspecies currently recognized in California.

CDFW recently released the Angler's Guide to the Heritage Trout Challenge, a new online tool for those interested in fishing for California's heritage trout. The guide provides anglers with detailed information on how to complete the challenge, including information about where to catch native trout, identification tips and a history of habitat restoration efforts.

CDFW encourages anglers, families and friends to “take the challenge” and explore new waters and appreciate the diverse fishing opportunities California has to offer.