You can add extra flavor and excitement to your next trout fishing trip—and help cutthroat trout in Utah—by participating in the state’s Cutthroat Slam.
To complete the slam, you must catch the four cutthroat trout subspecies that live in Utah: Bear River, Bonneville, Colorado River and Yellowstone. Once you do, you’ll receive a medallion, a certificate and recognition on Utah’s Cutthroat Slam website.
You’ll also receive the satisfaction of knowing you helped Utah’s cutthroat trout through the registration fee you paid. All of the money anglers pay to join the program goes into on-the-ground work that helps cutthroat trout in Utah. A prime example is a project that removed a fish barrier on the Weber River. Now that the barrier is gone, cutthroat trout that were separated from each other can intermingle along a 20-mile stretch of the river.
You can catch a couple of the cutthroat trout subspecies close to home. Pursuing the others will take you to scenic, quiet places in Utah that you may have never fished before. You can register for the Utah Cutthroat Slam—and learn more about it—at www.UtahCutthroatSlam.org.
You can also learn more about the slam by watching a video on the Division of Wildlife Resources’ YouTube channel. The video is available at http://bit.ly/1Xw7GpN.
A third way to learn more is the Wasatch Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo. The expo happens April 7 – 8 at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy. Staff from the DWR and Trout Unlimited—the two organizations that joined forces, to make the slam possible—will staff a Cutthroat Slam booth at the expo.
Randy Oplinger, cold water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR, says many anglers aren’t aware that cutthroat trout were the only trout the Mormon pioneers found when they arrived in Utah in 1847.
All of the other trout in Utah—including rainbow, brook and brown—were introduced to the state.
“When you catch a cutthroat in Utah,” Oplinger says, “you’re catching a fish that’s truly part of the state. That’s one of the main reasons the Bonneville cutthroat is Utah’s state fish.”