State Fish Of Utah

State Fish Of Utah

Bonneville Cutthroat Trout Is The Official State Fish Of Utah. Utah adopted the Bonneville cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii utah) as official state fish in 1997. In the 1997 Legislature Approved Senate Bill 236 to adopted the Bonneville Cutthroat as the Utah State Fish after having the Rainbow Trout since 1971. The Bonneville Cutthroat is native to Utah and was important to the Indians and the Mormon pioneers as a source of food. There are some that speculate the pioneers were saved from starvation many times by catching and eating fish but claim it wasn’t necessarily the trout that they ate but carp. This species State Fish Of Utah Bonneville Cutthroat Trout is actually native to the Great Salt Lake, which is found in Utah. However, they aren’t found only in Utah. Bonneville Cutthroat Trout can also be found in Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming or in parts of all three of these states’ waterways. This is what Utah residents decided to replace the rainbow trout as their state fish.


Characteristics of the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout

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 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 State Fish Of Utah Bonneville Cutthroat Trout 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. This is one of 14 or so recognized subspecies of cutthroat trout native to the western United States.



Utah State Fish Bonneville cutthroats were once widespread in all major streams on the east side of what is now Great Basin National Park, in east-central Nevada (which in turn borders Utah on the west). However, they were severely reduced by introduced trout species, water diversions, and other human activities. In fact, most streams within the park are no longer inhabited by Bonneville cutthroats.

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