Colorado River cutthroat trout

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Colorado River cutthroat trout
Colo river cutthroat BLM.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Genus: Oncorhynchus
Species: O. clarkii
Subspecies: O. c. pleuriticus
Trinomial name
Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus
(Cope, 1872)

The Colorado River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus) is a subspecies of cutthroat trout native only to the Green and Colorado River basins, which are west of the Continental Divide. Cutthroat trout found in other river basins belong to other subspecies.


In the past, this subspecies was found throughout portions of the Colorado River drainage in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. However, today scientists believe this fish occupies 13% of its historic range (Range-Wide Status of Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus): 2005).

A young Colorado River cutthroat

Colorado River cutthroats are thought to have occupied the basin of upper Muddy Creek, a tributary of the Little Snake River (which ultimately flows into the Colorado River) in southern Carbon County, Wyoming. Historical accounts in letters and diaries refer to them as "mountain trout" or "speckled trout." The fish may have begun to disappear from the upper Muddy Creek in the 1850s as a result of physical changes made to the environment by travelers, the introduction of the brook trout and other non-native species, and possibly the over-trapping of beavers, which affected dams and dependent habitats.


Rangewide Conservation Agreements and Management Strategies are in place for this species.[1]

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, Little Snake Conservation District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Trout Unlimited have successfully reintroduced Colorado River cutthroat into the Little Snake River basin. Efforts have included improving stream habitat and removing non-native species.

See also[edit]


  • Colorado River cutthroat trout on FishBase
  • "Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Reintroduction". United States Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins (Wyoming) Field Office. 2006-02-02. Archived from the original on 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2006-06-16.
  • Wyoming Fish & Game Commission

Further reading[edit]

  • Trotter, Patrick C. (2008). Cutthroat: Native Trout of the West (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25458-9.