Lahontan cutthroat trout are the largest of the four cutthroat subspecies and are well-adapted to the alkaline conditions found in many desert environments.
Photo by the US Fish and Wildlife Service
Features: The name “cutthroat” is derived from the two red slash marks or streaks on the underside of the lower jaw. Lahontans don't develop the intense crimson or gold coloration that other subspecies do, but the males can develop some red on their sides. Spots on the head can help distinguish this subspecies from other inland cutthroat subspecies.
Habitat: This variety has adapted to the dry, highly alkaline waters and was once widespread throughout the Lahontan Basin of California, Nevada and southeast Oregon. Today, native populations can be found in the Whitehorse and Willow creek basins in the far southeastern part of the state.
Techniques: Most anglers will encounter Lahontans in places where they have been stocked, such as Mann Lake at the base of the Steens Mountain. There, these trout can grow to be 20-inches long or more. Fish this big primarily feed on smaller fish, so flies and lures that mimic small fish work well.