Go fish! 2,000 pounds of lightning trout added to East Bay lakes

San Pablo Reservoir plants 1,200 pounds of catfish ahead of Free Fishing Day
Photo credit: East Bay Regional Park District

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the East Bay Regional Park District is set to plant 2,000 pounds of lightning trout at four lakes from Monday through Friday.

About 500 pounds will be planted at each of these lakes: Del Valle, Lake Chabot, Quarry Lakes, and Shadow Cliffs.

“Anglers should head out early for a special chance to catch these amazing fish,” the park district said. “Trout typically bite during the mornings and evenings this time of year.”

The Park District plants 130,000 pounds of hatchery-raised fish annually in its lakes for the benefit of local anglers. Daily fishing permits and a state fishing license are required to fish in regional lakes. The Regional Parks Foundation sells an annual angler membership for avid anglers that covers the cost of parking and fishing permits.

The lightning trout was procured “after years of District efforts and requests by anglers,” the park district said.

Lightning Trout are golden in color with a bright red stripe down their sides. They’re not just beautiful, their meat resembles salmon. They are a unique genetic strain of rainbow trout, which is native to East Bay waterways, and are specifically bred to be planted in waterways for recreational fishing and are not able to reproduce.

“Lightning trout are a beautiful, unique fish that you don’t get to see every day,” said Park District Fisheries Program Manager Joe Sullivan. “We’ve been trying to get lightning trout for quite some time, but it’s been difficult the last couple of years due to the drought.

“I’d like to get out there and catch one myself, but I’ll leave it to our anglers to have the fun,” added Sullivan.