Chances are, your favorite California sportfish is probably a foreigner. An outsider. An import. Yep, the fact is the majority of the freshwater fish we enjoy chasing here aren’t native to the state.
Some exotics were experiments, others illegal introductions. People who had moved West and missed fishing for their favorite species brought in many varieties of gamefish from the East Coast or Great Lakes. Others still were moved into California to provide new fishing opportunities or to control baitfish populations.
It’s all pretty interesting stuff, so let’s take a look at some of our most beloved fish and trace their origins.
Per capita, probably the most popular fish in California, largemouth bass didn’t swim in the state’s waters until 1891. According to California Department of Fish & Game records, the initial largemouth were Northern strain fish that originated from Quincy, Illinois and were released into Lake Cuyamaca in San Diego County.
The more popular and larger Florida strain largemouth made their first appearance in 1959 and the rest, as they say is history. Nobody could have imagined 50 years ago what an industry would spring up around those Floridas!Click here to read more…