Facilitating the protection and restoration of species and ecosystems at risk on BC’s South Coast
Cutthroat trout usually have a distinctive red or orange streak under their lower jaw. This may not be obvious on those found in salt water. Coastal cutthroat differ from all other trout by having many spots all over the sides of the body, on the head and often on the belly and fins. Like all salmonids, they have an adipose fin, a soft, fleshy fin on the back. Sea-run individuals are silvery; sometimes their bellies have a distinct lemon colour, while freshwater fish are usually darker, with a coppery or brassy sheen. The body may have a pale yellowish colouring, lower fins may be yellow to orange-red, and sexually-mature fish often have a rose tint underneath. Unlike Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat have small teeth at the base of the tongue ("hyoid" teeth). Coastal Cutthroat have several life history forms including anadromous (freshwater-marine), adfluvial (small stream-large river) and resident (spend their entire life in small streams). *The lewisi ssp. also known as Westslope Cutthroat Trout, listed as special concern is found in several major drainages of the Columbia River Basin.