Rainbow Fishing Season Opens June 15 in Hawai‘i

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Open fishing season for rainbow trout in the Koke‘e Public Fishing Area (PFA) on Kaua‘i is scheduled daily from June 15 to Sept. 30, 2019, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Rainbow trout fishing in the Koke‘e PFA has been a popular summer activity for many years, not only enjoyed by ‘i residents, but families from the mainland also plan summer vacations around it, providing a nice boost to Kaua‘i’s economy,” said Brian Neilson, administrator of the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources.

Trout are found in streams and ditch systems within the PFA, but fishing success has been poor due to the discontinuation of stream stocking some years ago. Over 95% of the catch occurs from the Pu‘u Lua Reservoir, where anglers have chances to catch trout from last year’s stock.


Last year, 3,381 anglers caught 20,129 trout, with the largest one caught on July 30 measuring 18.5 inches and weighing 3 pounds 4 ounces.

Trout fishing is expected to be successful this year because 40,000 young trout were stocked in the reservoir.

Anglers must have a valid State of Hawai‘i freshwater game fishing license. Licenses may be obtained at DLNR offices, at selected fishing supply stores, license agents, or purchased online.


The daily bag limit for this year will be 12 rainbow trout per licensed angler. Catch-and-release fishing is prohibited; all trout caught must be retained by the angler and count towards their bag limit. Each angler may fish with only one line, with one single barbed hook (lure or baited). Use of treble hooks is prohibited. The launch or use of any vessel or floatable object, motorized, non-motorized, or wind-powered in Pu‘u Reservoir is prohibited. No camping is permitted in the vicinity of the reservoir, and open fires are strictly prohibited due to risk of fire hazard. Dogs are prohibited around the reservoir bank for the safety and courtesy of other anglers.

Anglers are advised that four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended for driving to all fishing areas, including Pu‘u Lua reservoir, the streams, and ditch systems.

All anglers are required to check in and out at established check-in stations as follows:

  • Pu‘u Lua Reservoir’s two stations at the parking area and at the reservoir intake.
  • Koke‘e Park headquarters for streams and the upper ditch systems with access through Camp 10 and Halemanu Roads.
  • Trail 2 for the lower ditch systems. Due to road hazards and conditions, vehicle access to the lower ditch systems is prohibited. Access by walk-in only.

Complete rules and more information are available online or by calling the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources on O‘ahu at (808) 832-5009 or on Kaua‘i at (808) 274-3344.

To purchase license, click here.

Koke’e Pu’u Lua trout fishing (2017). PC: DLNR

Koke’e Pu’u Lua trout fishing (2017). PC: DLNR

Koke’e Pu’u Lua trout fishing (2017). PC: DLNR

Koke’e Pu’u Lua trout fishing (2017). PC: DLNR

BIN stock photo

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