Cutbow Trout Cutbows are fertile hybrids of rainbow trout and one of the cutthroat species. Where rainbows and cutthroats occur naturally together, these hybrids rarely occur. However, with the introduction of rainbows into native cutthroat populations, hybridization often occurs and is view as a serious threat to cutthroat populations due to the loss of genetic integrity.
Depending on the rainbow-cutthroat mix, these hybrids may take on markings very close to either parentage, or any of numerous blends. Typically they will have a bit of the orange/red slash on the throat that is so distinctive of cutthroats and often with a hint of the red stripe down the side that is distinctive of rainbows.
These hybrids can show in most any water that native cutthroats exit and where rainbows exist, the clear, cold water of mountain streams and lakes. Cutbows are also intentionally stocked in some states to provide anglers with another fishing opportunity.
The life cycle, habitat requirements, and food preferences are the same as their parents, which are essentially the same for both species, as they are very similar fish.