What Is the Cutthroat Trout Known For?

Cutthroat trout are a species of freshwater fish that are native to the western United States and Canada. They are known for their unique appearance and their importance in the ecosystem.


One of the most distinguishing features of cutthroat trout is the red, orange, or pink slash marks on their lower jaw. These marks resemble a cut from a knife, which is how the fish got its name. Cutthroat trout also have small black spots on their backs and fins, and their coloration can vary greatly depending on their environment.

Ecosystem Importance

Cutthroat trout play an important role in the ecosystems they inhabit. They are a food source for larger fish, birds, and mammals such as bears and otters. Additionally, they help to control populations of smaller aquatic creatures like insects and crustaceans.


There are several different subspecies of cutthroat trout that are found throughout North America. These include:

  • Coastal Cutthroat Trout
  • Bonneville Cutthroat Trout
  • Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
  • Snake River Cutthroat Trout
  • Greenback Cutthroat Trout

Each subspecies has its own unique characteristics and can be found in specific regions.


Cutthroat trout prefer clear, cold water that is rich in oxygen. They can be found in rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds at varying elevations depending on the subspecies. Some subspecies even reside in estuaries where freshwater meets saltwater.

Fishing Regulations

Due to overfishing and habitat destruction, many subspecies of cutthroat trout have been listed as threatened or endangered species. It’s important to check fishing regulations before attempting to catch cutthroat trout to ensure that you are doing so legally and sustainably.


Cutthroat trout are a unique and important species of freshwater fish. They play a vital role in ecosystems throughout North America and have captivated the interest of anglers and outdoor enthusiasts for generations. By understanding their habitat, subspecies, and regulations, we can work towards preserving these beautiful fish for future generations to enjoy.

Photo of author

Michael Allen