Two subspecies of cutthroat trout are native to Montana: westslope and Yellowstone. I learned yesterday that the lake I fished has been stocked with both in the past decade and I think I caught both.
"It can be difficult to visually distinguish westslope from other cutthroat trout subspecies, but the westslope cutthroat trout tends to have more small spots by the tail and none by the pectoral fin and the fish is more of a silvery or greenish color. The only way to be certain about identification of this subspecies is by genetic testing (AFS website 2003)."
"The Yellowstone cutthroat trout is visually distinguished ... from other cutthroat trout subspecies by its medium-large, black spots that tend to be concentrated posteriorly, and its drab brownish, yellowish, or silvery coloration, with brighter colors generally absent even in mature fish (Behnke 1992, Baxter and Stone 1995) (AFS website 2003). "
Being from the same lake with no other apparent influence, I'd say these two have to be different subspecies. What do you think?
And just for fun, some are huge in this lake:
|Even if I could get that guy to eat, I don't see how I'd have a shot at landing him. Therein is the fun.|