Montana's State Fish- treasured for their sport, beauty, and standing as hearty native fish.
Like a family heirloom passed from generation to generation, Montana's native cutthroat trout are among the treasures that make Montana such a special place. Montana's native fish are Nature's Keepers and it's up to all of us to keep it that way.
June 13, 1805— While camped with the Corps of Discover along the Missouri River near Great Falls, Capt. Meriwether Lewis Dubbed our westslope cutthroat "a very fine trout."
What we've learned
Now, almost 200 years later, both of Montana's very fine cutthroat trout still exist here and are beginning to win some battles in their long upstream fight for survival.
Most of our best-known trout- rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout and golden trout- are not native to Montana, but were introduced by newcomers as sport fish.
Montana's native fish adapted to a life in mountain and prairie streams over thousands of years- enduring wild spring floods, summer droughts, and long, cold winters.
As new settlers changed Montana's landscape, the cycle of life changed for Montana's native cutthroat trout as well. The eventual introductions of non-native fish added to the rapid decline and gradual isolation of our native cutthroat trout populations
Aimed at sustaining and expanding native cutthroat trout and their habitat with goals to: