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Cutthroat trout: Wikis


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Cutthroat Trout
Greenback cutthroat trout, O. c. stomias
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Genus: Oncorhynchus
Species: O. clarkii
Binomial name
Oncorhynchus clarkii
(Richardson, 1836)[1]

Oncorhynchus clarkii clarki
O. c. alvordensis(extinct)
O. c. behnkei
O. c. bouvieri
O. c. henshawi (threatened)
O. c. lewisi
O. c. macdonaldi (extinct)
O. c. pleuriticus
O. c. seleniris (threatened)
O. c. stomias (threatened)
O. c. utah
O. c. virginalis

The cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) is a species of freshwater fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes.[2] It is one of the many fish species colloquially known as trout. All subspecies of cutthroat trout are sought after gamefish, especially among anglers who enjoy fly fishing. However, several native subspecies of cutthroat are currently listed as threatened, generally due to loss of habitat and introduction of non-native species.


Range and habitat

Cutthroat trout are native to western North America. The cutthroat species has evolved through geographic isolation into many subspecies, each native to a different major drainage basin. Native cutthroat species are found along the Pacific Northwest coast, in the Cascade Range, the Great Basin, and throughout the Rocky Mountains. Some coastal populations are anadromous, living primarily in the Pacific Ocean as adults and returning to fresh water from fall through early spring to feed on insects and spawn. Most populations, however, stay in freshwater throughout their lives and are known as non-migratory, stream-resident or riverine populations. Anadromous fish may reach weights of 20 pounds (9 kg), but those fish which remain permanently in freshwater may only reach a weight of 2 pounds (1 kg). At least three subspecies are confined to isolated basins in the Great Basin and can tolerate saline or alkaline water.


Cutthroat trout vary widely in size, coloration, and habitats. Though their coloration can range from golden to gray to green on the back, depending on subspecies and habitat, all populations feature distinctive red, pink, or orange marks on the underside of the lower jaw; usually the easiest diagnostic of the species for the casual observer. As adults, different populations and subspecies of cutthroat can range from 6–40 inches (15–100 cm) in length making size an ineffective indicator as to species.

Cutthroat will readily interbreed with the closely related rainbow trout, producing fertile hybrids commonly called "cutbow". Cutthroat will also hybridize with the O. gilae subspecies, the Gila trout and Apache trout.


There are many subspecies of cutthroat, each native to a separate geographic area. The cutthroat trout is thought to have evolved over the past two million years from other Oncorhynchus species which migrated up the Columbia and Snake river basins. There are at least 10, and perhaps more than 14 subspecies[2][3], including:


Pacific Coast

Great Basin

Likely O. c. utah, northern Utah

Northern Rockies

Southern Rockies


The cutthroat trout is the state fish of Idaho and Wyoming, while particular subspecies of cutthroat are the state fish of Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.

Origin of the name

The common name "cutthroat" refers to the distinctive red coloration on the underside of the lower jaw.

Cutthoat trout were given the species name clarki in honor of William Clark, who co-led the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–1806.[1] One of Lewis and Clark’s missions was to describe the flora and fauna encountered during the expedition. The type specimen of O. clarki was described by naturalist John Richardson from a tributary of the lower Columbia River, identified as the "Katpootl"[1], which was perhaps the Lewis River as there was a Multnomah village of similar name at the confluence. This type specimen was most likely the coastal cutthroat subspecies.


  1. ^ a b c Richardson, John; William Swainson, William Kirby (1836), Fauna boreali-americana, or, The zoology of the northern parts of British America: containing descriptions of the objects of natural history collected on the late northern land expedition, under command of Captain Sir John Franklin, R.N., London: J. Murray, pp. 225–226, 
  2. ^ a b Oncorhynchus clarkii (TSN 161983). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved on 23 April 2009.
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2005). "Oncorhynchus clarki" in FishBase. 10 2005 version.
  4. ^ a b c Behnke, Robert J. Native Trout of Western North America. American Fisheries Society, 1992 p. 65.
  5. ^ Species Profile: Lahontan cutthroat trout, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  6. ^ Species Fact Sheet: Lahontan cutthroat trout, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

the cuts are very fond for going for the live baits and trolling but should be treated with proper respect. in streams they will hit flys and they will go around the moss in the flows


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