Bonneville Cutthroat Trout

Bonneville Cutthroat Trout generally have large, evenly distributed spots, but there can be a high degree of intra-basin variation. Bonneville Cutthroat Trout tend to develop large pronounced spots that are more evenly distributed on the sides of the body rather than concentrated posterior as in the Yellowstone subspecies. Coloration in BCT trout is generally dull compared to other cutthroat trout subspecies. But coloration can vary depending on environmental conditions and local genetic composition. It has the notable vibrant red slash under it jaw that is characteristic of all cutthroat species.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Oncorhynchus clarkii utah
CLASSIFICATION
Fish
LIFE SPAN
7-8 Years
SIZE
7-20 ” | 1-15 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Unprotected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Bonneville cutthroat trout (BCT) are native to the Bonneville basin of Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The Bonneville basin covers approximately 51,216 square miles within the Great Basin and once contained the largest of the ancient pluvial lakes, Lake Bonneville. BCT in Nevada reside in streams flowing eastward from the north Snake (Mt. Moriah area) and south Snake Range (Great Basin National Park) along the Nevada / Utah border in the extreme eastern portion of the state.

Threats

  • Competition
  • Hybridization/Introgression
  • Predation

Natural History

Bonneville Cutthroats are descendants of the Cutthroat Trout that was once found in the Pleistocene aged Lake Bonneville which ranged from eastern Nevada to southern Idaho and northern Utah. When Lake Bonneville shriveled into the Great Salt Lake, it became to salty for life aside from the brine shrimp that can be found their today. With the loss of Lake Bonneville, the cutthroats became isolated in smaller populations of streams, rivers, reservoirs and ales. Depending on the location and their origination the Bonneville Cutthroats feed on a wide variety of prey, from insects to smaller fish of many species.

Fun Facts

Called “Ainkai Painkwi” or “Red Fish” by the Goshute tribe, and is considered sacred to them.   Due to the shared habitat, the Bonneville trout with breed with rainbow trout, producing the cutbow hybrids.