I have caught a number of Snake River cutts. The characteristic gold coloration and uniform spread of spots tells me this is the primary species however, the small size of the spots and the red around the gill covers would lead me to believe there maybe a fair amount of native cutthroat in this specific fish. So, I'd say it's a Snake River Cutthroat with a some native cutt genes.
In CA there are some back country lakes that had golden trout. I have never caught one, but maybe there could be some of that in this fish, too. Never heard of any in CO though. But there sure is a lot of gold coloration in your fish.
I would say Cutbow but not certain. I caught a lot of similar looking fish this Spring. The multitude of little dots running throughout the side of the fish seems a little off of a cutthroat. I can't tell from the pic, because sometimes it can be pretty feint but, did it have white tips at all on it's fins? Either way, great fish and hope someone can confirm it for you for sure😃🎣
Reply by: brookieflyfisher Posted: Jul. 23, 9:40:07 AM Points: 6154
Almost all rainbows in this state are stocked (including yours, just look at that stubby dorsal fin), and almost all of them have at least some cutthroat genetics in them. I'm not sure if it's possible to find a "pure" rainbow in Colorado.
So your fish is a hatchery mutt. I'd call it a "rainbow", but it probably has a cutthroat in its family tree somewhere. If you'd have flared out the throat under the jaw you'd have likely seen some bit of a red/orange/yellow slash. The fins sort of look like a cutthroats'. But the spotting pattern is way too even for a cutthroat, and the pink stripe is super obvious. Color doesn't mean much. You could claim it either way, because no one seems to really care about where the line is between a cutbow and a rainbow.
Reply by: brookieflyfisher Posted: Jul. 23, 9:57:36 AM Points: 6154
Fisherman79, yours is not a "snake river", especially if it came from Ohman lake. I'm surprised but not surprised that Discount messed up that ID so bad. It looks nothing like a "snake river" cutthroat.
That's (probably) a Colorado river cutthroat (O. clarkii pleuriticus), and a dang nice one at that.
And this whole conversation becomes more confusing when you realize that "snake river cutthroat" aren't even their own subspecies, but rather just a color morph of Yellowstone cutthroat (O. clarkii bouvieri)! That's why common names are useless!
Well whatever it was cpw gave me a MA award for snake river. I sent the pic in as well. Smh. I will take it lol. Didnt even know about the MA program until discount told me. It was identified by the old fly guys that work there. They briefly said cutbow has the slash under the jaw and cutthroat did not. These are the hardest fish for me to id.
OP pic (nice fish!) is definitely a Rainbow or Cutbow. Pink stripe down the middle is a dead giveaway. My attached pic is a Snake Cutty, note no lateral stripe and the unmistakeable gill slash of red.
Fisherman79, the REASON they're called Cutthroats in the first place is the red/orange slash under the gill plate. Looks like their throat has been cut... *wink* Rainbows don't have the slash. Most of the guys working at Discount just aren't that knowledgeable, unfortunately.
Just an FYI guys. FishSeal isnít the only resident expert on fish ID. That we have here . Brookieflyfisher also has some ď legitimate credentials ď when it comes to this. He can be taken at his word about what kind of fish it is. Not sure how many guys at discount have a degree in this ( brookie does ). And I donít think itís a real major concern for the CPW guy mailing out piece of paper with the title Master Angler printed on them.( Its big enough . Looks close enough to not be worth disputing . So send it. No harm, No foul ) They would take a lot harder look if it were a State Record submission.
Reply by: brookieflyfisher Posted: Jul. 27, 10:53:08 AM Points: 6154
Haha, sorry for really doggin' on you fisherman79! we're just jealous of that freakin' monster!
Yours is a nice fish regardless, no need to feel any kind of shame about showing off! You should know that snake river cutthroat routinely get as big as the one you caught, while colorado river cutthroat are a much smaller subspecies and almost never get as big as the one you caught. Your fish is made more impressive by a correct ID, and that's partially why we're excited to tell you about it.
Colorado recently started a state record by length program, find another one of those and you'd probably hold the "Native Cutthroat" record for a long time!!!