Common name: Colorado River cutthroat trout
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Identification: Colorado River cutthroat trout have a bright yellow-gold body with a brassy-green back and orange belly, medium to large spots concentrated on the caudal peduncle and dorsal region (though spotting varies by region) and absent on the pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins, and 180-200 lateral line scales. Similar species include Yellowstone cutthroat trout (O. c. bouvieri) and Bonneville cutthroat trout (O. c. utah), which can be distinguished from Colorado River cutthroat trout by a lower number of lateral line scales (160-175) and less intense body coloration (Behnke 2002; Page and Burr 2011).
Native Range: High elevation streams and rivers (generally above 6000 ft.) in the upper Colorado River drainage above Lake Powell (includes the Escalante, Green, Colorado, Yampa, White, Eagle, Gunnison, Dolores, and San Juan River drainages); Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming (Behnke 2002; Page and Burr 2011).
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Puerto Rico &
Colorado River cutthroat trout (30,000 fingerlings from Trapper's Lake, Colorado) were stocked in five high elevation lakes near Mt. Williamson, California, in 1931 (Gold et al. 1978).
Means of Introduction: Stocked for sport.
Status: Established in California (Moyle 2002)
References: (click for full references)
Behnke, R.J. 2002. Trout and salmon of North America. The Free Press, New York, NY.
Gold, J.R., G.A.E. Gall, and S.J. Nicola. 1978. Taxonomy of the Colorado cutthroat trout (Salmo clarki pleuriticus) of the Williamson Lakes, California. California Fish and Game 64:98-103.
Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 2011. Field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA.
Revision Date: 6/1/2012
Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016
Neilson, M.E., 2018, Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus (Cope, 1872): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=896, Revision Date: 6/1/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/16/2018
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.