Coastal cutthroat

Marine Areas

  • Sekiu and Pillar Point
  • East Juan de Fuca Strait
  • San Juan Islands
  • Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay
  • Ports Susan and Gardner
  • Admiralty Inlet
  • Seattle-Bremerton Area
  • Tacoma-Vashon Island
  • Hood Canal
  • South Puget Sound
  • Lakes by County

    Clallam County

  • Beaver Lake
  • Dickey Lake
  • Lake Pleasant
  • Lake Sutherland
  • Wentworth Lake
  • Clark County

  • Battle Ground Lake
  • Klineline Pond
  • Yale Reservoir
  • Cowlitz County

  • Merrill Lake
  • Grays Harbor County

  • Failor Lake
  • Lake Aberdeen
  • Quigg Lake
  • Sylvia Lake
  • Wynoochee Lake
  • Island County

  • Admiralty Bay Pd - E
  • Admiralty Bay Pd - W
  • Deer Lake
  • Lake Goss
  • Jefferson County

  • Silent Lake
  • Teal Lake
  • King County

  • Cottage Lake
  • Deep Lake
  • Fish Lake
  • Lake Dolloff
  • Lake Margaret
  • Lake Sammamish
  • Lake Sawyer
  • Lake Union
  • Lake Washington
  • Langendorfer Lake
  • Moss Lake
  • Peterson Lake
  • Sunday Lake
  • Kitsap County

  • Island Lake
  • Long Lake
  • Wildcat Lake
  • Lewis County

  • Davis Lake
  • Lake Scanewa
  • Mayfield Lake
  • Mineral Lake
  • Riffe Lake
  • South Lewis County Park Pond
  • Mason County

  • Cady Lake
  • Devereaux Lake
  • Isabella Lake
  • Lake Cushman
  • Lake Wooten
  • Lost Lake
  • Melbourne Lake
  • Nahwatzel Lake
  • Price Lake
  • Spencer Lake
  • Tee Lake
  • Tiger Lake
  • Trails End Lake
  • Twin Lake - Big
  • Wood Lake
  • Pierce County

  • Alder Lake
  • San Juan County

  • Cascade Lake
  • Mountain Lake
  • Skagit County

  • Beaver Lake
  • Big Lake
  • Clear Lake
  • Lake Campbell
  • Lake Cavanaugh
  • Lake McMurray
  • Lake Shannon
  • Pass Lake
  • Whistle Lake
  • Skamania County

  • Goose Lake
  • Swift Power Canal
  • Snohomish County

  • Ballinger Lake
  • Blackmans Lake
  • Bosworth Lake
  • Cassidy Lake
  • Chitwood Lake
  • Crabapple Lake
  • Hanson Lake
  • Jay Lake
  • Kellogg Lake
  • Lake Dorothy
  • Lake Goodwin
  • Lake Howard
  • Lake Julia
  • Lost (Crappie) Lake
  • Lost (Devil’s) Lake
  • Lost Lake (near Lake Chaplain)
  • Shaw Lake
  • Smelling Lake
  • Spada Lake
  • Storm Lake
  • Temple Pond
  • Thurston County

  • Offutt Lake
  • Skookum Reservoir
  • Summit Lake
  • Ward Lake
  • Whatcom County

  • Lake Padden
  • Lake Samish
  • Lake Terrell
  • Lake Whatcom
  • Silver Lake
  • Squalicum Lake
  • Information & Facts

    Coastal cutthroat (Resident & Sea-run) -- Photos courtesy wildfishconservancy.orgSpecies Name
    Coastal cutthroat
    (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki)

    Common Names
    Coastal Cutthroat Trout, Red-Throat, Harvest Trout

    Size Range
    Average 7-9 inches. Coastal cutthroat can grow to 10-18 inches in quality populations.

    State Record
    12.00 lbs; W. Welsh; Lake Crescent, Clallam County; July 1, 1961

    Resident coastal cutthroat trout are one of three subspecies of cutthroat trout that occur in Washington and one of the two that are native.  The other native is the westslope.  There is also an anadromous, or ‘sea-run’ coastal cutthroat.  The coastals have dark green backs with olive sides and silver bellies along with numerous irregular spotting over their entire body, including below the lateral line. Resident cutthroat trout can be mistaken for rainbow trout, but they have two distinguishing features that rainbow do not: the underside of the cutthroat’s lower jaw has red slash marks on each side (where it gets its name from) and small teeth on the back of the tongue.  The cutthroat's upper jaw also extends past the back edge of the eye, where is does not in rainbow (except for rainbow over 20 inches).

    Where to fish for Coastal cutthroat
    The resident form of coastal cutthroat trout are widely distributed throughout Western Washington (west of the Cascades). They are also present in lakes, along with tributaries to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Hood Canal, Puget Sound, coastal streams, and in tributaries of the lower Columbia River.  Although a resident cutthroat trout may be found throughout a stream, the majority of them are found in small headwater streams above impassable barriers.

    How to fish for Coastal cutthroat
    Resident cutthroat trout are aggressive and opportunistic feeders, preying on insects, leeches, crustaceans, and fish.  They prefer to occupy deep pools or locations along lake shorelines, especially where there is an abundant amount of submerged debris.  Stillfishing and trolling are two popular methods used to fish for resident coastal cutthroat trout.  In addition to bait, resident coastal cutthroat trout can be caught using a wide variety of artificial lures and flies.  Popular spinner and spoon brands are Blue Fox, Vibrax, Mepps, Triple Teasers, Little Cleo, and Flafishes.  Fly fishers will want to “match the hatch” and some popular types of fly patterns are nymphs, streamers, and dry flies.  As the water temperature warms up during the summer, the fish will be found closer to the bottom.

    As with any species, before beginning your fishing trip for resident coastal cutthroat trout, you will want to check the regulations for the location you will fish.  Many streams in the Puget Sound region are closed to fishing unless stated otherwise in the regulations pamphlet.  There may also be some gear restrictions.