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Fishing for Paiute Cutthroat Trout (native)

Identification

Paiute cutthroat trout
Paiute cutthroat trout
 
  • Differentiated from other cutthroat trout by a lack of body spots, although some exhibit a few, particularly towards the tail of the fish and along fin margins.
  • Sides are a gradual blend of colors, starting with a copper-green back, fading to peachy-pink, then light yellow, and finishing with a white belly.
  • Opercula, or cheeks, have a rose and peach sheen, complemented with an orange or peach-colored cutthroat slash.
  • They exhibit a striking iridescent purplish hue across the body.

Distribution

  • Native to Silver King Creek and tributaries.
  • Historically found between two barriers, Llewellyn Falls and a steep gorge section with a series of natural falls, approximately six miles downstream near Snodgrass Creek.
  • Their population was expanded above Llewellyn Falls and out-of-basin refuge populations are established in four other stream systems.
  • Nonnative trout have been removed from the historic range of Paiute cutthroat trout. Evaluations of the chemical treatment and reintroduction efforts are underway.

Llewellyn Falls on Silver King Creek
Llewellyn Falls

Map of Paiute cutthroat trout historic watershed-link opens in new window
Click to enlarge
 

Angling Information

  • A project to restore Paiute cutthroat trout to their native habitat is underway. To protect the population during this restoration, Silver King Creek and tributaries (Alpine County) upstream of the confluence with Snodgrass Creek are closed to all fishing all year.
  • If restoration efforts are successful, anglers may one day be able to fish for one of the rarest trout in North America, if not the world.
Silver King Creek
Silver King Creek
 


Fisheries Branch
830 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811 | (916) 327-8840