Similar in appearance to coastal rainbow trout, except:
Mature fish in freshwater have a dark copper/brass appearance, sometimes with iridescent hues. Coastal cutthroat trout and coastal rainbow trout have similar habitat requirements and can naturally hybridize, making identification difficult.
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South Fork Smith River
Due to their migratory behavior, large coastal cutthroat trout can be captured in streams and rivers when steelhead and salmon have migrated to the ocean. Adults in freshwater feed on benthic macroinvertebrates, terrestrial insects, and small fish. During winter, coastal cutthroat trout eat earthworms washed in by winter storms. In the marine environment, crustaceans and fish are the standard fare.
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