The Daily Show with Jon Stewart aired this segment which featured GYC as well as phosphate mining, selenium poisoning and two-headed trout. Be sure to sign up for our E-News to learn more about this issue and how you can help.
The aquatic icon of Greater Yellowstone, and the draw for anglers from across the world, is the cutthroat trout. There are actually four subspecies of cutthroat trout found in the ecosystem – Yellowstone, Bonneville, Westslope and Colorado River cutthroat. The Yellowstone cutthroat trout has the largest range of the four and is found throughout the Snake and Yellowstone River drainages. Cutthroat trout are the only native trout species to Greater Yellowstone and are named for the bright red/orange slashes found along their jaw. Once abundant throughout the region, cutthroats are now found mainly in isolated headwater streams. Non-native trout, such as brown, rainbow, brook and lake trout, have taken a heavy toll on the fish through predation and hybridization. The new and emerging reality of climate change will pose serious threats to cutthroats by warming their home waters and decreasing streamflows. Because cutthroat have naturally adapted to their habitat over thousands of years, many other wildlife species like grizzly bears and otters rely on them as an important food source. In fact, research in Yellowstone National Park has shown that up to 42 different wildlife species prey on Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
Best places to find a cutthroat trout: The upper Snake River around Jackson Hole and the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park.
Photo credit: FishEyeGuy