Puget Sound Neighbors

Meet the Coastal Cutthroat
(Salmo clarki clarki)

Named for the red or orange marks found along the inner edge of the lower jar, Coastal Cutthroat trout rarely reach the weight of four pounds – a far cry from their land-locked relatives who sometime top the scale above 40 pounds. Coastal Cutthroat begin their lives in small to medium-sized streams. Spending two years living in freshwater means they rely on us to keep their waters clean and healthy. After two years, Coastal Cutthroat migrate into the estuaries and nearshore waters of Puget Sound where they grow to maturity in a year or two. Once mature they return to their homewaters to spawn. Unlike salmon, Coastal Cutthroat trout live to spawn again, living up to 9 years total. An aggressive feeder, adult Coastal Cutthroat prey on shrimp, sand lances, sculpins, and other shallow water creatures. Its scientific name is a tribute to Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Helping keep Puget Sound streams and nearshore waters healthy is a tribute to both Captain Clark and to Coastal Cutthroat trout.

Drawing and information from:
Max McDermott
West Sound Academy