State/National/WorldNews Briefs

Angler from El Dorado County Achieves Milestone as 500th Participant in CDFW’s Heritage Trout Challenge

Scott Lyons of El Dorado County recently became the 500th angler to complete California’s Heritage Trout Challenge. This recognition by the California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) underscores Lyons’ commitment to angling and the conservation of native trout species.

Over a span of 14 years, Lyons, a retired educator and lifelong angler, successfully caught six of the 11 qualifying native California trout species in their historic watersheds. Among his notable catches were the California golden trout, McCloud River redband trout, Trinity River steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout, Goose Lake redband trout and Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Established in 2004, the Heritage Trout Challenge promotes the ecological and aesthetic values of California’s native trout species. Administered by CDFW, the challenge encourages anglers to explore new fishing spots, support trout restoration efforts and experience the state’s diverse fishing opportunities.

Participants like Lyons receive recognition through personalized certificates featuring the artwork of renowned fish illustrator Joseph Tomelleri. These certificates commemorate the six trout species caught, along with the dates and locations of the catches.

Lyons expressed gratitude, noting how the challenge deepened his appreciation for California’s trout diversity and allowed him to explore new fishing areas. Despite multiple unsuccessful attempts at Heenan Lake, Lyons persevered, eventually catching a Lahontan cutthroat trout on his fifth trip.

A dedicated fly angler, Lyons adhered to ethical fishing practices by catching and releasing all fish using barbless hooks. He credited his family for igniting his passion for fishing during childhood visits to the Midwest and his father for teaching him to fly fish.

Encouraging others to participate, Lyons highlighted the joy of exploring California’s natural beauty and contributing to conservation efforts. With the challenge’s new online application and verification form, anglers have convenient access to resources for completing the challenge and embarking on their angling adventures.

 

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