The Yellowstone cutthroat trout is one of two subspecies of native cutthroat found in the state. Together they have been designated Montana's state fish, the Blackspotted cutthroat trout. They have a golden coloration and larger spots more widely distributed on their sides than the Westslope cutthroat trout.
The Yellowstone cutthroat, as the name implies, is native to the Yellowstone River drainage of southwest and south-central Montana. Originally their range was as far downstream as the Tongue River, but today pure, unhybridized populations are limited to some headwaters streams and Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone cutthroat trout are a Montana Fish of Special Concern.
This is the story of one of Montana's native gems, the Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and its conservation partners have developed a conservation strategy for Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Montana.
A companion document presenting the conservation strategy for the Shields River watershed is also available. These plans identify available information, data gaps, and propose conservation needs to protect or restore Yellowstone cutthroat trout within its historic range.
Table of Contents (PDF)
Chapters 1-5 (PDF)
Introduction (Pages 1–3)
Watershed Characterization (Pages 3–11)
Status and Ecology of Yellowstone Cutthroat (Pages 11–16)
Conservation Actions (Pages 16–21)
Conservation Schedule and Milestones (Pages 21–24)
Chapter 6.0: Subbasin Assessments and Conservation Opportunities
Yellowstone Headwaters Subbasin
Upper Yellowstone River Subbasin
Shields River (PDF)
Shilders River - Crazy Head Creek
Goose Creek - Island Lake Project
Line Creek - Bluewater Creek
Pryor Creek Subbasin (PDF)
Pryor Creek - Lost Creek
Bighorn Lake Subbasin (PDF)
Dry Head Creek - Crooked Creek
Shoshone River Subbasin (PDF)
Sage Creek - Bear Creek
Lower Bighorn Subbasin (PDF)
Rotten Grass Creek - Grapevine Creek
Little Bighorn Subbasin (PDF)
Chapters 7-9 (PDF)
Table of Contents
Status of Yellowstone Cutthroat
Chapters 3-4 (PDF)
Shields River Subbasin Characterization
General Conservation Strategies
Chapters 5-7 (PDF)
Data Review and Conservation Strategies and Opportunities by Stream/Watershed
Additional Information Needs and Adaptive Management