• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley


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Fish Species List

Greenish fish with yellow underbelly and white sucker on mouth
The California Department of Fish and Game captured this Sacramento sucker in the Merced River in El Portal during a native fish survey.

Listed are native and non-native fish found in Yosemite National Park.

Native fish

Native fish are only found in the lower elevations of Yosemite. Native fish—including California roach, Sacramento pikeminnow, hardhead, and riffle sculpin—inhabit the lower reaches of the Merced River up to the vicinity of El Portal. Historic accounts suggest that rainbow trout and Sacramento suckers occurred as high as Yosemite Valley on the Merced River. Waterfalls prevented fish from migrating up the Tuolumne River into the Poopenaut and Hetch Hetchy Valleys and up the South Fork of the Merced River to Wawona. Hence, the majority of waterbodies in what is now Yosemite were naturally fishless.

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
California roach (Lavinia symmetricus symmetricus)
Sacramento pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus grandis)
Hardhead (Mylopharodon conocephalus) CA Species of Concern
Sacramento sucker (Catostomus occidentalis)
Riffle sculpin (Cottus gulosus)

Close-up of the spotted head of a brown trout

Brown trout is one of Yosemite's seven non-native trout species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Non-native fish

Seven non-native species and two non-native hybrid trout occur in Yosemite National Park. From the first recorded planting in 1877 until 1990, more than 33 million fish were stocked into waters of Yosemite. Most of these fish were trout for sport fishing. Rainbow trout, although native to lower elevations, are non-native to waters above Yosemite Valley. The following non-native fish can be found in the park:

Bullgill (Lepomis macrochirus)
Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
Brown trout (Salmo trutta)
Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi)
Golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita)
Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Rainbow-golden hybrid trout (O. mykiss X O. mykiss aguabonita)
Rainbow-Lahontan cutthroat hybrid trout (O. mykiss X Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi)

Did You Know?

NatureBridge students learning something new from their instructor.

For over 40 years, NatureBridge has served over 40,000 youth and adults annually through a unique variety of environmental education programs at their national park campuses in California and Washington, including their Yosemite National Park campus.