Monday, August 13, 2007
Native Trout Files: Coastal Cutthroat
Sea Run Cutthroat
Patrolling the beaches and estuaries of the Puget Sound Oncorhynchus clarki clarki exists at the fringes of the ecosystem. Competing directly with Pacific salmon and steelhead the sea run cutt lives on the edge of what is considered suitable habitat for salmonids. Spawning occurs in the smallest streams and thinnest headwaters. Once hatched the young cutthroat are forced into marginally productive nursery waters by its larger cousins. Coastal cutthroat fill what must be the smallest and least fertile niche in the coldwater ecosystem. Not just enduring but thriving, benefiting from mandatory catch & release regulations and providing a great fishery for Puget Sound area fly fishers.