Common name: Yellowstone cutthroat trout
Synonyms and Other Names: black-spotted trout
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Medium-large spots with rounded edges; spots more abundant on caudal (tail) region. Highly variable coloration, but generally yellow-brown or brassy/bronze. Highly similar in color/morphology to westslope cutthroat trout (O. c. lewisi), with generally duller coloration in Yellowstone cutthroat (Behnke 2002).
Size: to 60cm TL (Behnke 2002)
Native Range: Snake River drainage north of Shoshone Falls (Idaho, Nevada, Utah); upper Yellowstone River drainage to Tongue River (Montana, Wyoming) (Behnke 2002).
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Puerto Rico &
The Yellowstone cutthroat trout has been collected in the North and South Platte and Arkansas drainages and the San Luis Valley as well as the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (Zuckerman and Behnke 1986; Rasmussen 1998; National Park Service 2012). This species is also common within Glacier National Park and stocked in the South Fork Flathead River, Montana (Dunham et al. 2004; National Park Service 2012).
Ecology: Yellowstone cutthroat trout inhabit coldwater fluvial and lacutstrine habitats throughout their range, with lake-dwelilng populations generally growing larger than those in rivers and streams. Lacustrine populations are found in small ponds up through large lakes (e.g., Yellowstone Lake); fluvial populations are typically found in headwater streams and occassionally main channels of larger rivers (e.g. Snake River; Gresswell 2009). Spawining occurrs in the spring (as with all other cutthroat and rainbow trout) in fluvial systems, with lake and large river populations migrating into outlet streams or smaller tributaries (Behnke 2002; Gresswell 2009).
Yellowstone cutthroat are opportunistic omnivores: individual populations have diets that generally match local food availability, with fluvial populations primarily consuming benthic invertebrates and drift material, and lacustrine populations consuming zooplankton and benthic invertebrates. Piscivory is uncommon and varies by population, but is generally occurs more in river populations (Gresswell 2009).
Means of Introduction: Stocked for sport. Stocked in Van Lake, Montana in the 1920's by the U.S. Forest Service (Marotz 2004). Widely stocked along the eastern Rocky Mountains in Montana (Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks 2012).
Status: Established in Glacier and Rocky Mountain National Parks (National Park Service 2012).
Impact of Introduction: Threaten the genetic integrity of native westslope cutthrout trout (O.c. lewisi) in Montana (Dunham et al. 2004).
References: (click for full references)
Behnke, R.J. 2002. Trout and salmon of North America. The Free Press, New York, NY.
Dunham, J.B., D.S. Pilliod, and M.K. Young. 2004. Assessing the consequences of nonnative trout in headwater ecosystems in western North America. Fisheries. 29(6): 18-24.
Gresswell, R.E. 2009. Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri): a technical conservation assessment. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp/assessments/yellowstonecutthroattrout.pdf
Marotz, B. 2004. Tough Love, why it makes sense to kill some fish in order to save others. Montana Outdoors. March/April 2004.
Montana Fish, Parks, and Wildlife. 2012. Montana Fisheries Information System (MFISH). http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/mFish/
National Park Service. 2012. NPSpecies - database of species inventories for park units in the National Park System. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. https://irma.nps.gov/App/Species/Welcome
Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.
Zuckerman, L.D. and R.J. Behnke. 1986. Introduced fishes in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. 435-453 in Stroud, R.H., ed. Fish Culture In Fisheries Management. Proceedings of a symposium on the role of fish culture in fisheries management at Ozark, MO; March 31-April 3, 1985. Amer. Fish. Soc., Bethesda, MD.
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson
Revision Date: 5/30/2012
Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri (Jordan and Gilbert, 1883): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=891, Revision Date: 5/30/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 3/22/2018
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.