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 bouvieri
Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri
(Yellowstone cutthroat trout)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri (Jordan and Gilbert, 1883)

Common name: Yellowstone cutthroat trout

Synonyms and Other Names: black-spotted trout

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

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).

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 bouvieri are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CO194319996Big Thompson; North Platte Headwaters; San Luis; South Platte; Upper Arkansas; Upper White
MT192020045Belly; Big Hole; Lower Clark Fork; South Fork Flathead; Swan
NM189319152San Francisco; Upper Gila-Mangas

Table last updated 4/14/2024

† 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).

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).

Remarks: The Snake River finespotted cutthroat trout (O. c. behnkei) co-occurrs with Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the upper Snake River; these two forms can only be distinguished by spot size (no observed genetic differences to date), and are considered by some authors as either separate or a single subspecies (O. c. bouvieri; Behnke 2002).

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.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 7/1/2019

Peer Review Date: 5/30/2012

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, 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: 7/1/2019, Peer Review Date: 5/30/2012, Access Date: 4/14/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/14/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.