|Lower Kings River Riffle|
The Lower Kings River is a tailwater that flows below Pine Flat Reservoir. The river is divided into two sections, a put-and-take fishery that is open during trout season (Last Saturday in April to November 15th) from the Pine Flat Dam to Pine Flat Road Bridge and a catch-and-release fishery from Alta Weir to HWY 180 that is open all year.
Water is an important resource in the Central Valley that is primarily managed for agricultural purposes. In the winter the Lower Kings is lowered to a minimal 100 CFS in efforts to save water. The flows are gradually raised during the spring and summer and can reach over 5,000+ CFS.
The trout that occupy the catch-and-release section are hatchery "brooders" that are planted by the CDFW. With the help of the Lower Kings Fisheries Management Program this planting program continues to provide an opportunity for anglers to catch and release trophy size trout. These fish are hefty Kamloops that often exceed 18''. During my visit with relatives in Fresno, I managed to sneak out and explore the Lower Kings.