are two forms of this species, the coastal
cutthroat trout and the westslope or Yellowstone
cutthroat trout. It is difficult to separate
the two forms so they are treated here
- The average length of cutthroat
trout is 12-15 inches and generally one-half
to 17 pounds. A short, conical head with
a somewhat pointed to rounded snout and
a rather large mouth with well developed
teeth on both jaws characterize the fish.
In breeding males the kype is slightly
developed in the anadromous population
and the lower jaw appears extremely long.
One of the main color characteristics
is two yellow or orange to red lines in
the skin folds of each side of the lower
jaw. The coastal cutthroat trout is colored
dark to olive-green with numerous black
spots and may appear more blue with silvery
sides. The interior cutthroat trout (Yellowstone/Westslope
cutthroat) has a body of yellow-green
with red on the sides of the head and
front of the body and the belly.
-The cutthroat trout can be found in fresh,
brackish or salt water in North America
mostly west of the Rocky Mountains. The
coastal and Yellowstone varieties are
separated by a central area in which the
rainbow trout occurs. The inland form
lives in western Alberta in the headwaters
of river systems.
- Adult anadromous forms return to freshwater
spawning streams in late autumn and early
winter but spawning takes place there
in February to May. In both forms of cutthroat
trout spawning takes place in small, gravelly
streams where the male courts the female
by nudging and quivering. The female prepares
the redd where she lays 1100-1700 eggs.
Hatching occurs 6-7 weeks later.
TO MAN - This species is noted as
an important sportfish as it is a hard
fighter and can be large. The flesh is
orange-red, rich and of excellent flavor
when smoked, fried or baked.