Questions About Rainbow Trout and Rattlesnakes


Rainbow trout

Q: How high can rainbow trout jump?

A: A rainbow trout can jump a maximum of about three meters or almost 10 feet. However, a more realistic daily jump would be closer to 1.5 meters or about five feet. Rainbow trout are known to be fast swimmers and high jumpers. The reason they can swim so fast and jump so high is that they are very muscular and flexible. This flexibility comes from the fact that rainbow trout have many small, delicate vertebrae. A rainbow trout has about 62 vertebrae, while a bass only has about 32. This extra flexibility allows them to use the full range of their muscles to jump over obstacles. For more fun fish information, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Classroom Aquarium Education Program.


Q: Are rattlesnakes aggressive or do they generally avoid confrontation?

A: Rattlesnakes are not aggressive by nature, but will defend themselves when threatened. If left alone, they will usually move away from a threat, not towards it. If rattlesnakes are unable to escape, they usually signal warning of an attack by adopting a defensive posture and clicking noises. Biting is considered a last resort. A rattlesnake’s venom is for immobilization and digestion of prey. It can take weeks for a rattlesnake to recover after envenomation. Most bites occur when someone fails to see a rattlesnake or deliberately puts themselves in danger. Being aware of where you walk or put your hands when in rattlesnake country is the best way to avoid being bitten.

Rattlesnakes are widely distributed throughout California, but are typically found in open habitats like grasslands, savanna, and desert. They prefer to live in and around rocky outcrops when available. When found in homes and yards, it is usually along an interface between nature and the city. California residents can make their gardens safe from rattlesnakes by removing objects that attract them and their prey. This may include moving vegetation away from fences, removing piles of boards or stones, and repairing potential access points.

For more information, visit

desert plants

Q: What is the California Desert Native Plants Act?

A: The purpose of the California Desert Native Plant Act (CDNPA) is to protect certain plant species native to the California desert from illegal harvesting on public and private lands. The CDNPA applies only within the counties of Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego. In these counties, the CDNPA prohibits the harvesting, transportation, sale, or possession of specific desert native plants under many circumstances unless a person has a valid timber permit or receipt, as well as required labels and seals. Appropriate permits, tags, and seals must be obtained from the sheriff or commissioner of the county where the collection will take place, and the county will charge a fee. More information about the CDNPA, including legally protected species, is available on the CDFW website.

Recreational Fishing Survey

Q: What does CDFW do with its recreational sport fishing survey data?

A: The California Recreational Fisheries Survey (CRFS) was designed to meet the specific management needs of all of California’s diverse recreational marine finfish fisheries and provide accurate and timely estimates of fishing effort and catch. The CRFS team relies heavily on the cooperation of fishers to obtain accurate survey estimates. CDFW would like to thank the fishermen in advance for taking the time to participate in the surveys by telephone or in person at the docks.

Recreational anglers can contribute to data accuracy in two ways:

(1) Anglers should cooperate with the CRFS sampler conducting the interview. Please answer the CRFS interview questions honestly. Take the time to allow the sampler to examine and measure any catch. Due to the increased sampling levels, recreational anglers, especially those who fish frequently, are more likely to encounter CRFS samplers conducting the survey. Every fishing trip is different – different target species, success rates, different locations, different gear, etc. – CDFW therefore asks anglers to please complete this survey whenever you are asked to do so, even if you have already completed it before.

(2) Say “yes” to the CRFS telephone interviewer. Licensed anglers are contacted randomly throughout the year and asked questions about their fishing habits. The data collected by this telephone survey is used to estimate fishing effort that cannot be estimated by field observations, such as night fishing and fishing from boats that depart and return to private marinas. Personal details are kept confidential.

For more information, visit CDFW’s California Recreational Fisheries Survey webpage.

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