The Lahontan cutthroat trout

The Lahontan cutthroat trout
Difficulty

Period

All year

Minimum size

no restriction

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The Lahontan cutthroat trout belongs to the Salmonidae family. It can reach 1 m for 24 kg. It has a lifespan of less than 5 years. It breeds between February and July. The best time to catch it is between March and April.
It is a quite large fish with a square tail to hunt prey and avoid predators. The coloring is green to greenish brown on the back, pale yellow with a pink lateral band on the sides and silver to white on the belly. Parr marks fade in mature fish. Spawning trout can be copper, red and orange, especially male. Large rounded spots, almost as black as ink, scatter little over the body, with less below the lateral line. Like other cutthroat trout, they have a distinct red to orange mark on their throats, but can be pale on lakes.

The Lahontan cutthroat trout lifestyle

Known as ferocious predators and opportunistic eaters, the Lahontan cutthroat trout feed on fish and insects.
Females reach sexual maturity between three and four years of age, while males mature between two and three years of age. Repeated reproduction is rare. Like other cutthroat trout species, Lahontan cutthroat trout is a brood spawner in streams spawning between February and July. Spawning depends on stream flow, elevation and water temperature.

The Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat

The Lahontan cutthroat trout originates from the tributaries of what was once Lake Lahontan, a huge glacial lake, of which Pyramid and Lake Tahoe lakes are remnants, in northwestern Nevada and extending to northeastern California and southern Oregon. These native waters include the drainage waters of the Truckee, Humboldt, Walker, Carson and Quinn rivers, as well as some smaller streams. The species now inhabits a fraction of its former range and seeding and hybridization with other trout species that blurred the boundaries. For example, because it tolerates water that is too alkaline compared to other trout, the Lahontan cutthroat trout are stored in alkaline lakes outside its natural range, including Lenore Lake in central Washington and Mann Lake in Oregon.

The Lahontan cutthroat trout angling

It can be fished with the nymph fishery with an intermediate sink line and a small pearled nymph (princess nymph, hare's ear or bird's nest), or with an indicator with several midges or scutes suspended at different depths in the water column. It can be caught by trolling as well: golden-colored masters and Thomas floating lures are very popular.

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