Utah State Fish - Bonneville Cutthroat Trout

Bonneville Cutthroat Trout

The cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarkii, has 15 recognized subspecies, one of which is the Bonneville Cutthroat, Oncorhynchus clarkii utah. All cutthroat trout have a "cut," a patch of orange or red on the throat and they differ from the rainbow trout because they have basibranchial (hyoid) teeth in their throat between the gill arches, they typically have longer heads and jaws than the rainbow and often times can be distinguished from the rainbow by their larger spots. The cutthroat is known to be more vulnerable to anglers because of a general lack of wariness and can be caught on a wide variety of bait.

Senate Bill 236, in the 1997 Legislature, adopted the Bonneville Cutthroat as the state fish after having the Rainbow Trout since 1971 (Utah Code). The Bonneville Cutthroat is native to Utah and was important to the Indians and the Mormon pioneers as a source of food. There are some that speculate the pioneers were saved from starvation many times by catching and eating fish but claim it wasn't necessarily the trout that they ate but carp. Oh well!

Utah's Bonneville Cutthroat Trout

Learn more about the Cutthroat Trout

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