California State Fish


California has 30 000 miles of rivers and streams, 1100 miles of coastline, about 80 major rivers and 4800 lakes and reservoirs.  There are also more than 1000 native fish and wildlife species in California. 

There are many awesome fish in California, from Largemouth Bass to Calico Bass and from Stripers to Sturgeon, but  Garibaldi and Golden Trout are two state fish of California.

Golden Trout

Scientific name : Oncorhynchus aguabonita

The California Golden Trout is a subspecies of the Rainbow Trout native to California and are the most beautiful fish in the world. They are recognizable by their bright yellow belly and iconic red stripe.  Dorsal and caudal fins along its spine are large and black spots. California designated Golden Trout as the official state freshwater fish in 1947. 

In streams, they grow beyond 8 inches and they reach double that size in lakes. 9 years are the lifespan of the Golden Trout. 

Where do they live? 

Native habitat for Golden Trout is found at high elevations in meandering streams where the water is clear and cold. 

The Sierra Nevada Mountains where Golden Trout are native, 7000 feet above sea level. Golden Trout Creek ( a tributary to the Kern River)  and the South Fork Kern River (empties into Lake Isabella) are two rivers in the Upper Kern River basin where you can find them.

These fish live on the high mountains year – round, you definitely want to go fishing when the weather is warm. So summer and early fall are the best time to target Golden Trout. Trout in California are the inspiration for us to create beautiful, quality long sleeve fishing shirts. Take a look some long sleeve fishing shirts and we look forward to accompanying you on your fishing trips. 


Scientific name : Hypsypops rubicundus

Garibaldi  was designated the official state marine fish of California in 1995 and are the largest species in the Damselfish family. They normally measure about a foot long as adults and they are not a game fish. Their food is various such as algae, sponges, and invertebrates like nudibranchs, tubeworms and bryozoans.

Where do they live?

They are found commonly in the shallow waters off the Southern California coast, usually in rock reefs and rocky sea bottoms. You can see them along the stretch of coast from Monterey Bay to Baja California Sur. Another good place to see them is Catalina island. 

They are one of the few fish to use the same nesting site every year. Garibaldi fish like to live in rocky inshore structures. Some of them prefer to live in kelp forests and nearshore waters. You should release Garibaldi fish unharmed as soon as possible if you accidentally hook one. If not, these fish can earn you a $500 fine. Garibaldi are strictly protected in California.