South Fork Smith
Heritage and Wild Trout Waters Designation
In addition, the South Fork Smith River and its tributaries were designated as Heritage Trout Waters, which further recognizes the beauty, diversity, historical significance, and special values of California’s native trout. Heritage Trout waters support fish populations that best exemplify indigenous strains of native trout within their historic drainages and provide anglers with the opportunity to catch native trout in a way that is consistent with native trout conservation.
This new designation expands upon the 2016 and 2017 designations in the South Fork Smith River drainage, which included the South Fork Smith River, from Goose Creek upstream to the Island Lake Trail Crossing, and includes the following tributaries: Goose Creek, Hurdygurdy Creek, Buck Creek, Quartz Creek, Eight Mile Creek, Williams Creek, Harrington Creek and Prescott Fork. These designations totaled recognized 100 miles of Upper South Fork Smith watershed.
The Upper South Fork of the Smith River has been recognized for its solitude, tremendous beauty and the unparalleled opportunity it provides to catch a Coastal Cutthroat Trout.
The Heritage and Wild Trout Waters designation recognizes the beauty, diversity, historical significance and special values of native trout across California. Statewide, there are now twelve designated streams which include the Clavey River, a tributary of the Tuolumne River, the Golden Trout Creek, including tributaries, from its confluence with the Kern River upstream to the headwaters, and the Upper Kern River, above the Forks of the Kern. All of these rivers are wild and alive with unique native fish, all an important part of our California history.
Letters of Support
Coastal Cutthroat Trout
Coastal cutthroat trout have a highly variable life history ranging from fully anadromous to resident. They are the most freshwater – dependent of the anadromous salmonids, migrating to the ocean for only a few months in the summer. The fish can be identified by their abundant black spotting and distinctive red slash along the jaw. In California, these fish reach about 16 to 22 inches.