The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Oncorhynchus clarkii
Oncorhynchus clarkii
(Cutthroat Trout)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Oncorhynchus clarkii (Richardson, 1836)

Common name: Cutthroat Trout

Synonyms and Other Names: Salmo clarki

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Scott and Crossman (1973); Moyle (1976a); Morrow (1980); Sublette et al. (1990); Page and Burr (1991); Behnke (1992). Behnke (1992) recognized 14 subspecies and provided information on each one. This species was formerly known as Salmo clarki.

Size: 99 cm.

Native Range: Pacific Coast drainages from Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Eel River, northern California. Freshwater populations range through Rocky Mountains to Hudson Bay, Mississippi River, Great (including Lahontan, Bonneville, and Alvord basins), and Pacific basins from southern Alberta to Rio Grande drainage, New Mexico (Page and Burr 1991).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Oncorhynchus clarkii are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AZ1900200110Black; Grand Canyon; Lake Mead; Little Colorado Headwaters; Lower Colorado Region; Lower Verde; Middle Little Colorado; Paria; San Francisco; Upper Verde
AR198219978Beaver Reservoir; Bull Shoals Lake; Dardanelle Reservoir; Lake Conway-Point Remove; Little Red; Lower White; Middle White; North Fork White
CA1860200121California Region; Crowley Lake; Death Valley-Lower Amargosa; Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys; Lower Pit; Mono Lake; North Fork American; North Fork Feather; Owens Lake; San Joaquin; Surprise Valley; Truckee; Upper Carson; Upper Merced; Upper Mokelumne; Upper Pit; Upper San Joaquin; Upper Stanislaus; Upper Tuolumne; Upper Yuba; West Walker
CO1943200925Animas; Arkansas Headwaters; Big Thompson; Blue; Cache La Poudre; Colorado Headwaters; Gunnison; Lower Gunnison; Lower Yampa; North Platte; North Platte Headwaters; Piedra; Rio Grande Headwaters; San Luis; South Platte; South Platte Headwaters; Upper Arkansas; Upper Arkansas-Lake Meredith; Upper Dolores; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Gunnison; Upper Laramie; Upper San Juan; Upper White; Upper Yampa
CT189619962Housatonic; Outlet Connecticut River
ID1967201170American Falls; Bear Lake; Beaver-Camas; Big Lost; Big Wood; Birch; Blackfoot; Boise-Mores; Bruneau; C.J. Strike Reservoir; Camas; Central Bear; Clearwater; Coeur d'Alene Lake; Curlew Valley; Hells Canyon; Idaho Falls; Lake Walcott; Lemhi; Little Lost; Little Salmon; Little Wood; Lochsa; Lower Bear-Malad; Lower Boise; Lower Clark Fork; Lower Henrys; Lower Kootenai; Lower Middle Fork Salmon; Lower North Fork Clearwater; Lower Salmon; Lower Selway; Medicine Lodge; Middle Bear; Middle Kootenai; Middle Salmon-Chamberlain; Middle Salmon-Panther; Middle Snake-Succor; Moyie; North and Middle Forks Boise; North Fork Payette; Pacific Northwest Region; Pahsimeroi; Palisades; Payette; Pend Oreille Lake; Portneuf; Priest; Raft; Salmon Falls; Salt; South Fork Boise; South Fork Clearwater; South Fork Coeur d'Alene; South Fork Payette; South Fork Salmon; St. Joe; Teton; Upper Coeur d'Alene; Upper Henrys; Upper Middle Fork Salmon; Upper North Fork Clearwater; Upper Owyhee; Upper Salmon; Upper Selway; Upper Snake; Upper Snake-Rock; Upper Spokane; Weiser; Willow
MD198119983Mid Atlantic Region; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Potomac
MI189519641Great Lakes Region
MT192020045Belly; Big Hole; Lower Clark Fork; South Fork Flathead; Swan
NE189519926Lower Middle Loup; Lower Niobrara; Lower North Platte; Lower Platte; Lower South Platte; Upper Elkhorn
NV1873200523Diamond-Monitor Valleys; Dixie Valley; Great Basin; Guano; Hamlin-Snake Valleys; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Lake Mead; Lake Tahoe; Little Smoky-Newark Valleys; Long-Ruby Valleys; Lower Quinn; Northern Big Smoky Valley; Pine; Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes; Reese; Salmon Falls; Smoke Creek Desert; Spring-Steptoe Valleys; Thousand-Virgin; Truckee; Upper Humboldt; Walker Lake; White
NJ195219782Lower Delaware; Mid-Atlantic Region
NM189319909Chinle; Rio Grande-Albuquerque; San Francisco; Tularosa Valley; Upper Canadian; Upper Gila-Mangas; Upper Pecos; Upper San Juan; Upper San Juan
ND199419971Upper Pembina River
OR189420028Alvord Lake; Goose Lake; Lake Abert; Lower Deschutes; Silvies; Upper Crooked; Upper Deschutes; Upper John Day
SD198520013Fort Randall Reservoir; Missouri Region; Rapid
TN195519563Caney; Obey; Watauga, North Carolina, Tennessee
UT189919996Lower Green; Lower Green-Desolation Canyon; Lower Green-Diamond; Strawberry; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Virgin
VA189418941Upper New
WA1917201112Banks Lake; Lake Chelan; Lower Crab; Methow; Naches; Okanogan; Pacific Northwest Region; Palouse; Priest; Puyallup; Upper Yakima; Wenatchee
WY196120129Central Bear; Clear; Medicine Bow; Middle North Platte-Casper; North Platte; Salt; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Laramie; Upper North Platte

Table last updated 4/22/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Means of Introduction: Many introductions resulted from authorized stocking for sportfishing. Escaped from a fish hatchery in Virginia. Fine-spotted Snake River cutthroat from Wyoming were stocked in Arkansas in 1984 (Robison and Buchanan 1988). Yellowstone, Lahantan and perhaps other subspecies have been stocked in Arizona (Minckley 1973). Paiute (Moyle 1976a), Yellowstone (Dill and Cordone 1997), and probably coastal and Lahontan cutthroat have been transplanted outside their native ranges in California. The state of Colorado planted Yellowstone cutthroats exclusively until sometime after 1974 (Beckman 1974). Since then, Snake River cutthroats have also been stocked in the state (Walker 1993). Both species have been stocked in the same drainages (Walker 1993). Greenback, Colorado River, and Rio Grande cutthroat are native to the state (Walker 1993). Yellowfin cutthroat, formerly native to Twin Lakes, Colorado, is now extinct (Walker 1993). Stocked numerous times since the late 1800s in Connecticut (Whitworth 1996). Lahontan, Bear Lake (Idaho Fish and Game 1997), and perhaps westslope cutthroats (Simpson and Wallace 1978) have been introduced into nonnative areas of Idaho. The Yellowstone subspecies was introduced into Michigan (Hubbs and Lagler 1947). Westslope (Eddy and Underhill 1974) and Lahontan cutthroat (La Rivers 1962) were introduced into Minnesota. Bonneville, and Lahontan (La Rivers 1962), Yellowstone, greenback (Deacon and Williams 1984), Rio Grande, fine-spotted Snake River, and Yellowstone (Sublette et al. 1990) cutthroat subspecies have all been introduced in nonnative areas of Nevada. Yellowstone cutthroat were introduced in Oregon (Bond 1973) and Washington (Schultz and DeLacy 1935). Lahontan cutthroat were recently introduced into Washington (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 1997). Westslope (Sigler and Miller 1963), greenback (Tyus et al. 1982), and Yellowstone (Sigler and Sigler 1996) cutthroat were introduced to nonnative areas in Utah. The Lahontan (La Rivers 1962) and Colorado River (Gorges 1994) cutthroat were introduced in Wyoming. Unknown subspecies were stocked in Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Miller et al. (1991) recounted a story of an early trout introduction told to Carl Hubbs by a Nevada pioneer George Schmidtlein. In 1873, George gathered together family and neighbors, including a native American, to transfer Cutthroat Trout O. clarki henshawi from the Reese River system to his pond in Big Smoky Valley. The group, with the use of a hired mule train, spent more than four days transporting the fish live in vinegar kegs over several mountain summits. These fish, or their progeny, eventually spread to many of the area streams. In Maryland scaped juveniles were found in a creek downstream from a fish hatchery (D. Neely, personal communication; Frostburg State University museum). Between 1895-1940, 105,000 fish were stocked in Newaygo County, Michigan (Fukano et al. 1964).

Status: Established in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. Most stocking attempts in other states failed (e.g., Tennessee, Connecticut, Minnesota) or populations replenished with repeated stockings. Established for a time in Michigan, then died out (Hubbs and Lagler 1947, 1964; Becker 1983).

Impact of Introduction: Indiscriminate stocking has obscured recognition of many subspecies (Page and Burr 1991; Behnke 1992). Yellowstone cutthroat O. c. lewisi have hybridized extensively with Lahontan cutthroat O. c. henshawi in California (McAffee 1966). Cutthroat Trout also hybridize with rainbow trout in situations where one or both species have been introduced (Behnke 1992).

Remarks: Interior (noncoastal) cutthroat (all subspecies except O. clarki clarki) have declined dramatically since the 19th century. Brown trout Salmo trutta have commonly replaced Cutthroat Trout in large rivers (Behnke 1992). Introduced brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis quickly replaced greenback Cutthroat Trout in the Arkansas and South Platte drainages (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1995). Recovery plans have been written for greenback Cutthroat Trout O. c. stomias (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1977a, 1995), Paiute Cutthroat Trout O. c. selenis (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1985a), and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout O. c. henshawi (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994d). Paiute Cutthroat Trout have hybridized with introduced rainbow trout and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, resulting in a loss of distinctiveness of this subspecies in many areas (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1985a). However, some pure populations do still exist (Behnke, personal communication). The Paiute, greenback, and Lahontan subspecies of cutthroat are listed as federally threatened species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993a). Prior to the elimination of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service candidate species list, the Snake River fine-spotted, Willow or Whitehorse, westslope, Colorado River, and Bonneville subspecies were under review for Federal listing as an endangered or threatened taxa (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994a). Since 1963, 24 introductions of Lahontan cutthroat were made outside of its native range; 14 of these have established populations (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994d). Lahontan cutthroats are now established outside their native range in eleven locations in Nevada, nine in Oregon, four in Utah, and nine in California (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994d).

References: (click for full references)

Behnke, R.J. 1992. Native trout of western North America. American Fisheries Society Monograph 6. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Bradley, W. G. and J. E. Deacon. 1967. The biotic communities of southern Nevada. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers No. 13, Part 4. 201-273.

Cudmore-Vokey, B. and E.J. Crossman. 2000. Checklists of the fish fauna of the Laurentian Great Lakes and their connecting channels. Can. MS Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2500: v + 39p.

Fukano, K.G., H. Gowing, M.J. Hansen, and L.N. Allison. 1964. Introduction of exotic fish into Michigan. Michigan Department of Conservation, Institute of Fisheries Research, Ann Arbor, MI.

Insider Viewpoint. 2001. Fishing Records – Nevada. Insider Viewpoint Magazine. 3 pp.

McAffee, W.R. 1966. Lahontan cutthroat trout. Pages 225-231 in Calhoun, A, ed. Inland fisheries management. California Department of Fish and Game. Sacramento, CA.

Miller, R.R. and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona, p 133-151, In: C.H. Lowe, ed. The Vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. Tucson.

Neely, D. - University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes - North America North of Mexico. Volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 6/28/2019

Peer Review Date: 8/18/2009

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Oncorhynchus clarkii (Richardson, 1836): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=890, Revision Date: 6/28/2019, Peer Review Date: 8/18/2009, Access Date: 4/22/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/22/2024].

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