- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Golden trout (Oncorhynchus)
This small, slender trout is mostly golden yellow with accents of red along the sides and underside. Golden trout have black speckles along the top from the nose to the tail, as well as larger black spots on the sides. The dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins are usually tipped with white. Coloration and spotting varies greatly between subspecies and according to season.
The native range of the golden trout is very small: The Kern, Little Kern, and Golden Trout streams of the upper Kern River drainage in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. They are also found in the Cottonwood Lakes in the Inyo National Forest and Lake Isabella. Numerous other national parks and forests have introduced golden trout to their lakes and streams. They have also been introduced to some mountain lakes of southwestern Alberta, Canada and Idaho.
Golden trout are found in cold, high-elevation streams and lakes between 6,000 and 10,000 feet. They like swift streams that are no more than 71 F, but also inhabit cold-water lakes.
Spawning for the golden trout takes place in the spring and early summer. The female chooses a nest site or redd depending on stream velocity, water depth, and gravel size usually at the end of a riffle. She digs the redd by flipping her tail back and forth over the gravel to make a depression. This commotion attracts competing males to the site. When there is only one male left, he then starts the courtship displays.
After a period of time, the female deposits the eggs. The male then comes along side her and releases the sperm. The female moves slightly upstream and repeats her actions in making the redd which then cover up the redd downstream.
She will then lay about 500 to 800 eggs in the redd, depending on the size of the female. Of the eggs laid, only about 1 percent will survive to reproduction.
Golden trout feed primarily on aquatic-born insects such as mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies. They will also eat nearly any insect that falls into the water. Feeding usually happens at the end of the riffles and under cover beside the stream bank, where there is a higher density of insects.
Many seasoned anglers seek golden trout because of the beauty and rarity of the fish.
After a golden trout is cooked, the skin loses its spots and brilliant colors and turns into a pale golden yellow. Many anglers also believe that cooked goldens look more attractive than other cooked fish. The texture of the flesh is firmer than most fish and is a rich red color.
- The golden trout became the California state fish on April 14, 1947. In 1978, the federal government created the Golden Trout Wilderness in east-central California. The 303,287 acres that stretch across Sequoia National Forest and Inyo National Forest were set aside to protect the remaining genetically unspoiled population of goldens from the brown, brook, and rainbow trout. The goldens have been interbreeding with the rainbows, making a new subspecies and putting the goldens gene pool at risk. Brown and brook trout populations create severe competition for food, spawning habitat, and space causing golden trout populations to decline.
- The Little Kern golden trout, Oncorhynchus aquabonita whitei, and the Volcano Creek golden trout, O. aguabonita gilberti,are subspecies of the golden trout. The Little Kern goldens were put on the threatened and endangered species list by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife on April 13, 1978.
- Specific classification of the golden trout and its two subspecies are currently being revised.