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Rio Grande cutthroat trout
Rio Grande cutthroat trout from the Conejos watershed in southern Colorado.
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Genus: Oncorhynchus
Species: O. clarki
Subspecies: O. c. virginalis
Trinomial name
Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis

The Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis) is found in New Mexico and southern Colorado in tributaries of the Rio Grande. It one of 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout native to the western United States, and is the state fish of New Mexico.

Life history

Rio Grande cutthroat trout typically spawn between middle of May and the middle of June. Males are sexually mature at age 2; females at age 3. They will live on average of five years, but in rare cases, cutthroat trout have been known to enter their teens. Rio Grande cutthroat feed opportunistically on aquatic and terrestrial insects that fall into the water.

The Rio grande Cutthroat Trout evolved in New Mexico as a member of a native fish assemblage that included longnose dace, Rio Grande chub and Rio Grande sucker.

Conservation

Rio Grande cutthroats currently live on 150 miles of stream on the Santa Fe National Forest, which is only 15% of their historical range. According to U.S. Wildlife Service, thirteen core populations remain in the world. These are the key to the survival of the species. Four of the thirteen core populations are located in the Santa Fe National Forest.

References

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