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Tag Archives: Greenback Cutthroat Trout

With the help of the guys from Laughing Grizzly we found some greenbacks above 9,200 ft. It was a hell of a hike for a couple of flatlanders like Blake and I, but we made it, caught some fish, and had some spectacular views. Looking forward to tomorrow’s float trip. I think elk run this town.

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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, June 2018: 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 a couple more 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 – I’ve yet to catch a Westslope).  Finally 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. Update, June 2021: Made it out to Arizona and New Mexico to catch Apache and Gila trout 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

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Brook trout are the first native trout species I ever encountered as they do live in Georgia.

Salmo trutta – Brown trout

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Brown trout are not native to North America.

Oncorhynchus mykiss – Rainbow trout

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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

Cutthroat Trout

Western native trout range map source: Coyote Gulch blog

Oncorhynchus clarki stomias – Greenback cutthroat trout

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Other Native Salmonids

Prosopium williamsoni – Mountain whitefish

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Thymallus arcticus – Arctic grayling

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