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Idaho State Fish

Cutthroat Trout

Idaho State Fish - Cutthroat Trout

(Salmo clarki)
formerly
(Oncorhynchus clarki)

Adopted on April 5, 1990.

In 1990, a class of Mr. Killet's fourth grade kids from a small Idaho town had an idea and took it to the legislature. As a result, the Cutthroat Trout was designated the Idaho fish by the 42nd Idaho Legislature and approved by Governor Cecil Andrus on April 5, 1990. The Cutthroat, along with the Rainbow and Bull Trout, is native to Idaho. The scientific name for Cutthroat Trout, (Oncorhynchus clarki,) is in reference to William Clark who first described in detail the Cutthroats of the Columbia River. His partner Meriwether Lewis earlier encountered Cutthroats near the great falls of Montana's Missouri River in July of 1805. Cutthroat species found in Idaho are the West slope Cutthroat which is found in northern and central Idaho and the Yellowstone Cutthroat which is found in southeastern Idaho.

Idaho cutthroat trout are usually caught on artificial flies, small spoons and small spinners.

While MontanaIdaho and  Wyoming simply adopted the "cutthroat trout" as their fish, ColoradoUtahNevada, and  New Mexico adopted particular subspecies of fish.

Idaho State Fish: Cutthroat Trout

Idaho State Fish - Cutthroat Trout

The body color varies with the back ranging from steel gray to olive green. The sides may be yellow brown with red or pink along the belly. The Cutthroat name comes from the distinctive red to orange slash on the underside of its lower jaw.

All cutthroat trout have a "cut," a patch of orange or red on the throat and they differ from the rainbow trout because they have basibranchial (hyoid) teeth in their throat between the gill arches, they typically have longer heads and jaws than the rainbow and often times can be distinguished from the rainbow by their larger spots. The cutthroat is known to be more vulnerable to anglers because of a general lack of wariness and can be caught on a wide variety of bait.

Common Names

Native Trout, Cut, Red Throat, Mountain Trout, Black-spotted Trout

Characteristics of the Cutthroat Trout

Reproduction

Cutthroat trout spawn in the spring, which may be as late as early July in high mountain streams.

Species

The cutthroat trout, Salmo clarki, has 15 recognized subspecies. There are 5 subspecies of cutthroat trout in Idaho: west slope, Yellowstone, Bonneville, Bear Lake, Snake River fine spotted.

Idaho Session Laws

STATE FISH
Idaho Session Laws, 1990, page 584 585.

AN ACT, RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF A STATE FISH; PROVIDING LEGISLATIVE INTENT; AMENDING CHAPTER 45, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 67 4508, IDAHO CODE, TO DESIGNATE THE CUTTHROAT TROUT AS THE STATE FISH.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

SECTION 1. It is the sense of the legislature that the Cutthroat trout is the fish best representing all Idaho waters and anglers. The Cutthroat trout's historic significance as the first of the salmon or trout in Idaho and as a key resource for early Idahoans makes this fish an important part of Idaho's natural heritage. This fish's sensitivity to changing and degraded environments and its value as a sport fish for Idaho anglers makes it an ideal barometer for the quality of life. Dramatic declines in recent history highlight problems in natural environments and resource management. Recognition as the state fish can help build the public awareness and support necessary for thoughtful use of our aquatic habitats and all associated resources. Cutthroat trout can be a symbol of Idaho's natural heritage and high quality environment.

SECTION 2. That Chapter 45, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and designated as Section 67 4508, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:

67 4508. STATE FISH DESIGNATED. The Cutthroat trout is designated and declared to be the state fish of the state of Idaho.

Approved April 5, 1990.

Idaho Law

The law designating the Cutthroat trout as the official Idaho state fish is Section 67-4508 (STATE FISH DESIGNATED) of the Idaho Statutes, Title 67 (STATE GOVERNMENT AND STATE AFFAIRS) Chapter 45 (STATE SYMBOLS) Section 67-4508

TITLE 67 STATE GOVERNMENT AND STATE AFFAIRS
CHAPTER 45
67-4508. STATE FISH DESIGNATED. The Cutthroat trout is designated and
declared to be the state fish of the state of Idaho.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Cutthroat Trout

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Osteichthyes
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Genus: Salmo
Species: Salmo clarki formerly (Oncorhynchus clarki)

State Fishes
State Fish
This is a list of official and *unofficial U.S. state fish: The only states lacking a state fish as of 2008 are Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio.
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