November 9, 2023
Over the years, the Kings River Fisheries Management Program (KRFMP) and the Kings River Conservation District (KRCD) have conducted supplemental rainbow trout stocking in the Lower Kings Watershed to support the fishery. The supplemental stocking is in addition to the California Fish and Wildlife stocking program (https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/). This year, the KRFMP will begin supplemental rainbow trout stocking in November and continue until April 2024. These trout will be coming from Desert Springs Trout Farm in Summer Lake, Oregon. In addition, KRCD plans to provide supplemental rainbow trout stocking from October 2023 to May 2024. These fish will come from Calaveras Trout Farm in Snelling, California.
The supplemental rainbow trout stockings will occur in the catch-and-release and put-and-take zones from the Bridge below Pine Flat Dam downstream to the river channel near Avocado Lake (A Map of Fishing Zones is at the end of this blog post). The goal of supplemental stocking is to enhance the quality of the trout fishery for the variety of anglers that fish the lower Kings River downstream of Pine Flat Dam.
Did you know the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) provides Trophy Trout Stocking in the Kings River? Coming up between November 2023 and March 2024, CDFW plans to release 1,000 pounds of trophy sized trout each month. While the actual size and weight of the trophy trout may vary, the anticipated average weight will be above 3 pounds.
As the year comes to an end, water conditions on the Kings River are beginning to look more ideal for fishing. Although the Kings River experienced extremely high flows for most of the year, the flow rate has decreased in recent weeks. As of today, November 9th, the Kings River below Pine Flat Dam is approximately 300 cfs (cubic feet per second) and will likely continue at these levels through December. These low flows will allow greater access to popular fishing areas on the Kings River between Pine Flat Dam and Highway 180.
Below are the Fishing Regulations for the two zones mentioned. If you would like to view our Brochure of Kings River Fishing Zones, please click the link: https://krfmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/6-28-22-KR_Brochure.pdf.
TROUT FISHING: PUT & TAKE REACH
Kings River from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bridge on Pine Flat Road downstream to Cobbles (Alta) Weir is open to fishing all year. Trout bag limit is five (5). [Title 14 Section 7.50(b)(70) (E)(1)].
TROUT FISHING: CATCH & RELEASE REACH
Kings River, from Cobbles (Alta) Weir downstream to the Highway 180 crossing is open to fishing all year. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. Trout bag limit is zero (0). [Title 14 Section 7.50(b)(70)(F)].
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The Kings River Fisheries Management Program is a cooperative effort the Kings River Conservation District, Kings River Water Association, and CA Department of Fish and Wildlife.