Cutthroat Trout

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Cutthroat Trout

Species Information

Scientific Name:Oncorhynchus clarkii
Common Names:cutthroat
Environment:Lake, River, Stream
Ideal Temp:39-59°F (4-15°C)

About Cutthroat Trout

The cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) is a fish species of the family Salmonidae native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean, Rocky Mountains, and Great Basin in North America. As a member of the genus Oncorhynchus, it is one of the Pacific trout, a group that includes the widely distributed rainbow trout. Cutthroat trout are popular gamefish, especially among anglers who enjoy fly fishing. The common name "cutthroat" refers to the distinctive red coloration on the underside of the lower jaw. The specific name clarkii was given to honor explorer William Clark, coleader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Cutthroat trout usually inhabit and spawn in small to moderately large, clear, well-oxygenated, shallow rivers with gravel bottoms. They reproduce in clear, cold, moderately deep lakes. They are native to the alluvial or freestone streams that are typical tributaries of the rivers of the Pacific Basin, Great Basin and Rocky Mountains. Cutthroat trout spawn in the spring and may inadvertently but naturally hybridize with rainbow trout, producing fertile cutbows. Some populations of the coastal cutthroat trout (O. c. clarkii) are semi-anadromous.

Several subspecies of cutthroat trout are currently listed as threatened in their native ranges due to habitat loss and the introduction of non-native species. Two subspecies, O. c. alvordensis and O. c. macdonaldi, are considered extinct. Cutthroat trout are raised in hatcheries to restore populations in their native range, as well as stock non-native lake environments to support angling. The cutthroat trout type species and several subspecies are the official state fish of seven western U.S. states.

Cutthroat trout require cold, clear, well-oxygenated, shallow rivers with gravel bottoms or cold, moderately deep lakes. Healthy stream-side vegetation that reduces siltation is typical of healthy cutthroat trout habitat and beaver ponds may provide refuge during periods of drought and over winter.

Cutthroat trout are opportunistic feeders. Stream-resident cutthroat trout primarily feed on larval, pupal and adult forms of aquatic insects (typically caddisflies, stoneflies, mayflies and aquatic dipterans), and adult forms of terrestrial insects (typically ants, beetles, grasshoppers and crickets) that fall into the water, fish eggs, small fish, along with crayfish, shrimp and other crustaceans. As they grow the proportion of fish consumed increases in most populations. In saltwater estuaries and along beaches, Coastal cutthroat trout feed on small fish such as sculpins, sand lance, salmon fry and herring.[49] They also consume shrimp, small squid and krill. In fresh water, they consume the same diet as stream resident trout—aquatic insects and crustaceans, amphibians, earthworms, small fish and fish eggs.

Cutthroat Trout Fishing

World Record:18.59 kg (41 lb 0 oz) Pyramid Lake, Nevada, USA 01-Dec-1925
# Fish Caught:38677 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1800 12:00:00 AM and located at 35.79239, -106.51104.
Latest Record:4/3/2024 11:42:29 AM and located at 47.68035, -122.40808.
Common Techniques:Casting, Fly
Popular Lure Types:Crankbaits, Flies, Plugs, Soft Plastics, Spinnerbaits, Topwater
Fishing Spots:3417 Cutthroat Trout fishing spots.

Latest Cutthroat Trout Fishing Reports and Spots

Come fly fish for Searun Cutthroat Trout! - 4/3/2024 11:42:29 AM

The inlets and beaches of Puget Sound are some of the only places in the world that you can cast to Wild Coastal Cutthroat Trout in the saltwat (View)

The continuing search for the lost Yellowfin cutthroat trout - 3/11/2024 10:31:21 AM

Solid story from Chris Hunt in Hatches on the search for a fish lost for 12 decades the yellowfin cutthroat. aquatic biologist Alex Townsend is (View)

Pyramid Lake Popcorn Beetle: Stillwater Pattern - 3/1/2024 12:00:32 PM

In this video Simon ties a proven pattern for monster Lahontan Cuttroat Trout in Pyramid lake. It is that time of year where anglers all over th (View)

The Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout and Why We Love It - 11/13/2023 11:22:28 AM

There’s something special about catching native fish in waters they’ve inhabited for thousands of years. The Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout is one (View)

YellowStone Cutts Rebounding - 5/25/2023 4:41:41 PM

Showing we can right the path for trout species Moldy Chum reported this week that Yellowstone Lake cutthroats are rebounding and coming back at (View)

Bull Trout - 5/28/2023 5:19:29 AM


Rainbow Trout Relocation in Idaho - 5/3/2023 9:38:00 AM

Idaho Fisher and Game will begin electro shocking and relocating non-native rainbow trout out of the South Fork Snake River to protect native Ye (View)

11 MILE MARINA WEEKLY FISHING REPORT 04.13.23 - 4/12/2023 7:45:09 PM


Mid March - 3/13/2023 10:10:54 PM

Although the sun hasn't crossed the celestial equator yet it feels like spring has sprung. Warm sun on the face birds chirping snow melting and (View)

lahontan cutties with duane bell - 12/27/2022 9:31:00 AM

While one mob of our guides went south to sea level for their winter break Duane Bell went high and cold to Nevada and kept us all enthralled wi (View)