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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Osteichthyes
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Genus: Oncorhynchus
Species: O. mykiss x clarki

A cutbow (Oncorhynchus clarki x mykiss) is a fertile hybrid between a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and a cutthroat trout (O. clarki). While cutbow hybrids may occur naturally, most native populations of rainbows and cutthroats were separated by geography or habitat. With human introduction of non-native rainbow trout into cutthroat habitat, cutbow hybridization has become a serious threat for native cutthroat populations due to genetic pollution.[1]


In the 1880s, rainbow trout were stocked in a number of different waters that had cutthroat trout in them. Shortly after, cutbows were prominent in these waters. Cutbow fish are created when the female cutthroat trout's eggs are fertilized by a bigger male rainbow trout. Many fishermen get the cutbow confused with rainbow and cutthroat trout. The cutbow has red or orange slash markings under the jaw and a silver body. Though most cutbow have dots on their bodies, patterns vary between each fish.[2]

Cutbows spawn during spring and prefer temperatures between 40 and 50°F. They are able to reproduce in natural habitats and in hatcheries.[2] They are almost immune to whirling disease, which affects most trout in Colorado.[2]


  1. ^ Cutbow, ECOS Guide to the Ecology of the Northern Rockies
  2. ^ a b c "ColoradoCasters: Let's get to know..."The Cutbow"". Colorado Caster Blog. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 

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