The golden trout was recognized as a variant species of trout because of its uniquely vibrant markings. The waters at the elevation where the trout are found are very cold and very clear with a high reflective rate. The Golden Trout in particular has adapted very well to this environment in terms of appearance. This trout adapted a yellow gold to olive green tint on its sides and belly. The fish also developed two very brilliant red stripes; one on its belly which runs from the last lower fin to the front of the gill, the other stripe is on the lateral line that typically begins at the seventh lateral spot which also runs to the gill. These colors were adapted for both passive and aggressive reasons. The gold and red, when viewed from out of the water, make the trout virtually invisible in the shallow creeks of the high Sierras. Having this advantage makes it difficult for predators and prey alike to locate it. Golden Trout are an average length of five to seven inches. Golden Trout of ten inches have been recorded, but they are rare. Its bodys depth is 3.5 inches with noticeably small scales (CDF and G 1995). The fins have small, black spots with a black border with white tips. Golden Trout have more spots on their back and tail than your average Rainbow or Brown Trout. Native trout of all species typically have seven to ten large black circles along their lateral. The rule is the more predominant the spots, the closer to native blood the individual trout is. Typically, the purest Golden Trout have the largest lateral spots and the brightest colors. Knowing this helps the observer decipher between a native and nursery or hybridized trout. Due to the sensitivity and susceptibility of this particular species of trout the number and brilliance of spots and colors depend greatly on its environmental factors (CDF and G 1995).