State Fish Of Idaho

State Fish Of Idaho

Cutthroat Trout Is The State Fish Of Idaho. in 1990, The Cutthroat Trout was designated the official state fish of Idaho. 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 Idaho State Fish 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 the state fish Cutthroat Trout is “Oncorhynchus clarki”  is in reference to William Clark who first described in detail the Cutthroats of the Columbia River. William Clark partner Meriwether Lewis earlier encountered Cutthroats near the great falls of Montana‘s Missouri River in July of 1805. State Fish Of Idaho 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. The body color of Cutthroat Trout 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 Idaho State Fish 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 State Fish Of Idaho 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:


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


The State Fish 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.