Salmonid ID and Species List
The salmonids are in family Salmonidae, which has 10-11 genera that is divided into 3 subfamilies; Coregoninae(whitefish), Thymallinae(grayling), and Salmoninae(char/trout/salmon). Living in the Southeast you have access to a very limited amount of salmonids and I’ve caught the 3 that occur in Georgia. The brook trout is the only native trout species in Georgia and it is actually a char. Update, September 2022: I made my first trip out West in September of 2012 to Colorado and caught several “greenback” cutthroat trout in Rocky Mountain National Park – or what were considered greenback trout at the time. Made another trip out West in August of 2013 to Teton and Yellowstone National Parks where I picked up another cutthroat species. In August of 2015 I was able to complete the Wyoming Cutt Slam, picking up Wyoming’s four native cutthroat species (they do have a fifth, the Westslope, that is not required for the slam). In July of 2017 I completed the Utah cutthroat slam, which didn’t necessarily add any new species to the list, but I was able to add Bonneville cutthroat outside of the Bear River drainage. In June of 2021 I made it out to Arizona and New Mexico to catch Apache and Gila trout in their native range. Finally in August of 2022 I made it up to Northern Idaho and caught several Westslope cutthroat in their native range.
Dr. Robert Behnke is the man when it comes to salmonid knowledge. Pick up his book if you want to learn more about this particular family, “Trout and Salmon of North America”. Another great resource is Gary Marston’s Native Trout Fly Fishing blog, he has a Trout and Salmon species page with pictures and information of all those that he has caught (which may be all that are found in the U.S.). Gary’s trip reports are a good read as well, he has had some epic road trips to catch trout in their native range.
Salvelinus fontinalis – Brook trout
Brook trout are the first native trout species I ever encountered as they do live in Georgia.
Salmo trutta – Brown trout
Brown trout are not native to North America.
Oncorhynchus mykiss – Rainbow trout
The first trout species I ever caught, I’ve still yet to catch them in their native range.
Oncorhynchus apache – Apache trout
Oncorhynchus gilae – Gila trout
Western native trout range map source: Coyote Gulch blog
Oncorhynchus clarki stomias – Greenback cutthroat trout
At the time this fish was considered a greenback, but it’s more likely that it isn’t after genetic research determined that the true greenback was limited to only one stream, outside of it’s native range, in Colorado. Work has been done to re-establish populations throughout it’s native range and hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to fish for a true greenback cutt. Their historic range is pretty much in the state of Colorado on the Front Range, with some watersheds slipping into Wyoming. They are found in the headwaters streams of the South Platte and Arkansas River drainages.
Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus – Colorado River cutthroat trout
Their historic range is headwaters streams in the Green and Colorado Rivers, as far south as the San Juan River, west of the Continental Divide. They are currently limited to a few small headwater streams of the Green and upper Colorado rivers in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, including the Escalante River drainage in southern Utah.
Oncorhynchus clarkii utah – Bonneville cutthroat trout
Their historic range is pretty much in the state of Utah, with some watersheds slipping into Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada.
Oncorhynchus clarkii utah – Bonneville cutthroat trout – Bear River strain
They are found in the headwaters streams of the Bear River. No range map was given from NatureServe or the USGS for the Bear River cutthroat trout, but they are native to the Bear River and it’s tributaries, including Bear Lake.
Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri – Yellowstone cutthroat trout
Their historic range is the Yellowstone River drainage in Montana and Wyoming and the Snake River drainage in Wyoming and Idaho. Their current range overlaps with that of the Finespot in the Snake River drainage above Shoshone Falls.
Oncorhynchus clarkii behnkei – Finespotted Snake River cutthroat trout
Their historic range overlaps the Yellowstone cutt in the states of Wyoming and Idaho. They are found in the headwaters streams of the Snake River, particularly the South Fork.
Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi – Westslope cutthroat trout
Other Native Salmonids
Prosopium williamsoni – Mountain whitefish
Thymallus arcticus – Arctic grayling