Original range included coastal streams from Alaska to northern California, eastward through the intermontane basins to the upper Missouri, Arkansas, Platte, Colorado and Rio Grande systems. Introduced to Arizona about the same time as rainbow trout just before 1900. Body shape similar to rainbow trout. Back and sides are lightly and irregularly spotted. Dorsal, adipose and tail fins are heavily spotted. Red or reddish-orange slash on throat. Length: 8 to 22 inches. Weight: 4 ounces to over 6 pounds.
Location and Habitat
Cutthroat trout are rarely found in Arizona's streams, but widely occur in the White Mountain lakes which are stocked by the Department. They prefer the same habitat as rainbow trout and are found in similar areas.
Spawn in early spring, most always in streams. “Redds” are dug by the females in the gravel. After fertilization the female fans the gravel and buries the eggs. Fish reach maturity between 2-3 years.
They feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects and invertebrates.
The same techniques used to catch rainbow trout work well for cutthroats. They may be caught on a variety of flies and artificial lures but a live nightcrawler is hard to beat. Use light line and small hooks.
Depending on the fishes diet, the meat can be white to orange-red in color. The meat is firm, flaky and is considered excellent eating.