California Department of Fish and Wildlife
bull trout

Bull Trout (Native)

Salvelinus confluentus

The bull trout is now considered extinct in California. The bull trout represents a case history of the demise of a native fish species. Bull trout are char, the group of salmonids that includes brook trout, lake trout, and Dolly Varden. In California, bull trout were historically found only in the McCloud River system, the river with the best conditions for this species and the southernmost part of the species' range. A variety of human activities led to the loss of bull trout: dam-building and water diversions, introduction of non-native competitors like brown trout and loss of contact with juvenile salmon, an important item of food. The bull trout in other parts of their Pacific Northwest range are in peril and have been listed under the Endangered Species Act. A reintroduction of bull trout to McCloud tributaries was unsuccessful, ten years ago. Further attempts to reintroduce bull trout in California are uncertain at this time.