Golden Trout found in Flathead Lake Area
Golden trout were originally found only in a few rivers in northern California. Humans brought golden trout to Montana in the 1900’s. Whether they are a native fish or not, it’s hard not to like how golden trout look. They are one of the prettiest fish that swims, with orange and olive sides, small black spots, and white fin tips. They live in some of the prettiest places in Montana too.
Some evolutionary biologists consider the golden trout to be a subspecies of the rainbow trout. The typical golden trout is a highly colored fish with distinctive shades of yellow and red on the lower sides and belly.
Golden trout are like other trout, and need cold water to survive and grow. They do best when water temperatures stay in the 50 to 60 degree range. One of the best places to find those water temperatures is high in mountain lakes. There are not too many lakes in Montana that have these fish. One area of the the state where you are likely to find them is in the beartooth mountains south of Livingston and Billings. Golden trout find conditions in those high, cold lakes to be just what they like, and there are good numbers of them in some lakes. You might also find goldens scattered around in few other lakes, but they are not as widespread as many species of trout in Montana. There are only about 20 lakes or groups of lakes in the state that hold good numbers of golden trout.