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Cutthroat Trout illustration

Cutthroat Trout

World Record ~ 41 Lbs Caught at Pyramid Lake, NV on Dec., 1925 by angler John Skimmerhorn

Scientific name ~  Oncorhynchus Clarki

Other names ~  Sea Trout, Sea-run Cutthroat, Red-throat Trout, Harvest Trout, Native Trout, Clark's Trout, Yellowstone Cutthroat, Colorado Cutthroat, Coastal Cutthroat

Identification ~ The Cutthroat Trout varies greatly in coloration and size. The coastal Cutthroat Trout is greenish blue on its back and silvery on the sides with many spots covering the body.  The inland species of Cutthroat Trout can be colored from olive green to yellowish green and there may red on the sides of the head, the front of the body, and the belly. The inland species of Cutthroat Trout have varying amount of spots in location, size, and amounts. Both coastal and inland Cutthroat Trout feature the distinctive red, pink, or orange marks on the underside of the lower jaw. There are 14 subspecies of Cutthroat Trout.

Size ~ The Cutthroat Trout varies in size according to subspecies and habitat. In some small inland streams Cutthroat reach a maximum size of only 12 inches. When conditions are good such as a large lake to occupy and plenty of feed a Cutthroat can reach up to 30 inches and 40 pounds. 

Habitat ~ Cutthroat Trout can inhabit a number of different cold water environments, from near-shore salt water to freshwater tributaries, inland lakes, rivers, streams and bog ponds. Coastal cutthroat inhabit areas relatively close to shore prior to the spawning migration, during which they are found in the stream, rivers and lakes where they were born. Inland cutthroats are found in large lakes and rivers, mountain streams and ponds, and some headwater tributaries, where they may coexist with resident coastal cutthroat. Cutthroat Trout range from Alaska to California and as far east as Alberta, Colorado, and Montana. There are also many eastern provinces and states that have had the Cutthroat Trout transplanted there.

Feeding Habits ~ Cutthroats mostly feed on a variety of aquatic insects, leeches, crustaceans and small fish, whichever is prevalent and available in a given stream, river, lake or pond. They will often hide in available cover like sunken logs, lily pads or coarse rubble and ambush insects and bait fish before swimming back to the security of cover. The coastal Cutthroat will also feed on shrimp, sand worms, and squid.

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