Concerned about deteriorating fishing conditions throughout the state, a passionate group of anglers founded California Trout in 1971. CalTrout was the nation’s first statewide conservation group supported by trout and steelhead fishermen.
They had a simple mission: to protect and restore wild trout and steelhead waters throughout California. By 1972, the organization had acquired a few hundred members and delivered two landmark victories: The California Wild Trout Program and The California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
With growth came professionalism, a full-time staff, field managers, increased membership, and of course, ongoing accomplishments. As the state has grown and the fight for resources has become ever more complicated, CalTrout strives to solve the state’s resource issues while balancing the needs of wild fish and people.
The history of Hat Creek’s Wild Trout Waters is very much entwined with the history and people of CalTrout. With historic, never-before-seen footage of the Wild Trout Water ceremony the film takes you on a journey through the rise, then decline, then rise again of this iconic fishery. Here, filmmaker Mike Wier weaves stories of the history, restoration and people of Hat Creek to demonstrate why it’s such a remarkable and special place.