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Cutthroat Trout in Alberta (Oncorhynchus Clarki)

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat Trout Identification

  1. a slash of red on the lower jaw
  2. greenish backs with yellow or silver sides; matured fish may have a reddish belly and cheeks
  3. black spots mostly concentrated above the lateral line , except near the tail
  4. slightly forked tail fin (also spotted)

Cutthroat Trout Description

West Slope Cutthroat Trout are a native fish to Alberta emerging from the South Saskatchewan and Bow river drainages. Although pure genetic strain Cutthroat are plentiful in many of the Southern Alberta head waters, they have been classed as a "threatened species" in Alberta. They have been pushed out of 75% of their range by introduced trout species and poor water quality. Yellowstone Cutthroat trout are stocked throughout the eastern slopes of Alberta every year, however this has altered the genetics of the native West Slope Cutthroat with the exception of ones found in headwaters isolated by waterfalls. But don't be disappointed, when the insect hatch is on, Cutthroat are programmed to feed and rise to the occasion, commonly being referred to as the "dry fly trout". However the big cutties can suck down the largest fly in your box and never disturb the water's surface.

Quick Facts About Cutthroat Trout

  • Zones: ES1, ES2, ES4 | BNF, JSP, WTL
  • Diet: insects, small fish, leeches, crustaceans
  • Habitat: cold mountain lakes, rivers/streams, close to the bottom
  • Breeding: late winter early spring
  • Alberta Record: 9lb 9oz
  • Life Span: 10 years
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