Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout can be distinguished from other cutthroat trout by their larger black spots, clustered toward the tail, and by their gray, gold, and copper hues. It has the notable vibrant red slash under it jaw that is characteristic of all cutthroat species.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri
CLASSIFICATION
Fish
LIFE SPAN
7-8 Years
SIZE
7-20 ” | 1-3 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
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

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout historically occupied about 61 lakes and about 17,800 miles of stream and river habitat throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Snake River watershed. In Nevada, Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout (YCT) are only found in the Goose Creek basin that occupies a small, northeastern portion of Nevada. All property along Goose Creek and tributaries is privately owned.

Threats

  • Habitat Degradation
  • Habitat Fragmentation
  • Water Diversion

Natural History

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout are the most prolific native trout to Yellowstone Park and prior to the Euroamerican settlement, they were the dominant fish species. They are now an important food source for approximately 16 bird species, mammals, otters and mink. Typically, a pacific drainage species, the YCT has traveled across the Continental Divide into the Atlantic drainage. Although their primary habitat remains unaltered, nonnative fish species are a serious threat, as predators as well as hybridized breeding. The Yellowstone Cutthroat needs cold, clean water in streams and lakes and can be found in the Snake River in Nevada as well.

Fun Facts

Because the species feeds primarily on insects as adults, they have become a prized game fish for anglers.