Warner Lakes Redband Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss ssp.

Distribution and Habitat

Warner Lakes redband trout are endemic to the Warner Basin of south-central Oregon and northeastern California. A very small portion of this basin occupies the extreme northeastern part of California, with three primary watersheds draining the northern and eastern flanks of the Warner Mountains, flowing north into Oregon. No comprehensive distribution surveys have been performed for the Warner Lakes redband trout within California, so it is currently unknown if they inhabit all three drainages or portions thereof.

here is also speculation that Warner Lakes redband trout occupy several streams draining the eastern flank of the Warner Mountains into Surprise Valley (Alkali Flats). Genetic studies are underway to answer this question. At this time, fish captured in streams within Surprise Valley and the surrounding hills that exhibit the characteristics of Warner Lakes redband trout will qualify, along with the north-draining tributaries that flow into the Warner Basin.

Conservation and Management

Due to the limited distribution of Warner Lakes redband trout in California, the majority of population assessments and conservation actions have occurred in Oregon. CDFW has conducted fisheries assessments in a few small tributaries in the Warner Mountains and is currently conducting a genetic analysis of these fish to better understand their relationships with other forms of redband trout. Although recognized as a distinct subspecies, they have not been formally named.