Utah’s new ‘Cutthroat Trout Slam’: Catch all 4, get a reward (video)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new program with rewards can take you to places in Utah you’ve never fished before, places where you’ll also learn about cutthroat trout, the only trout native to Utah. It’s the state’s Cutthroat Slam and it is on.

If you register in the Utah Cutthroat Trout Slam program and catch all four cutthroat trout, you'll receive this medallion. April 2016 | Photo by Mike Christensen, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News
If you register in the Utah Cutthroat Trout Slam program and catch all four cutthroat trout, you’ll receive this medallion. April 2016 | Photo by Mike Christensen, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

If you register for the program and catch all four of Utah’s cutthroat trout — Bear River, Bonneville, Colorado River and Yellowstone — you’ll receive a medallion and a certificate. The timeframe required for catching the big four is unlimited except that you must start your quest in 2016 or later, earlier catches will not count.

Photos of the cutthroats you catch will also be available for everyone to see online, who doesn’t enjoy bragging rights?

Paul Birdsey, cold water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, is excited about the program.

“The Cutthroat Slam provides an added incentive to visit some pristine waters in Utah — waters you may have never fished before,” he said.

The program also provides an incentive to learn more about cutthroat trout, including the the Utah state fish: Bonneville cutthroat trout.

Most Utahns, Birdsey said, aren’t aware that cutthroat trout were the only trout settlers found when they arrived in 1847.

“All of the other trout anglers catch in Utah, including brook, brown and rainbow trout, were brought here from other places.”

Learn more about the Utah Cutthroat Slam, watch the video top of this story.

Register for the Utah Cutthroat Slam online.

Colorado River cutthroat trout are among four cutthroat trout that live in Utah. June 25, 2013 | Photo by Michael Hadley, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News
Colorado River cutthroat trout are among four cutthroat trout that live in Utah. June 25, 2013 | Photo by Michael Hadley, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

The program launched April 1 and by April 3, one of its first registrants Kirk Nichols had caught the first cutthroat in the slam, a Colorado River cutthroat.

“The Utah Cutthroat Slam caught my attention because, ever since 4th grade Utah Geography classes, I have been curious about how any fish, especially trout, arrived in this isolated region of desert playas and mountain ranges,” Nichols said. “The archaic Snake, the Green and the Colorado rivers sent fingers into where the Great Basin is now.  Yet only one species of trout was captured by the isolation of the Great Basin: the cutthroat.”

Watch Nichols’ catch the Colorado River cutthroat here.

A partnership between the DWR and Trout Unlimited made the program possible.

Bear River cutthroat trout are among four cutthroat trout that live in Utah. April 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News
Bear River cutthroat trout are among four cutthroat trout that live in Utah. April 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

Trout Unlimited’s president and CEO Chris Wood called the state a hugely important partner in the organization’s work to recover native trout.

“The Utah Cutthroat Slam will simultaneously allow us to raise important resources for this work while also providing a ton of fun for anglers,” Wood said. “What’s not to like?”

Division of Wildlife Resources Director Greg Sheehan called the Cutthroat Slam a great example of what can happen when a state wildlife agency and a conservation organization join forces.

“I’m really excited to partner with TU,” Sheehan said. “And we’re very interested in partnering with other conservation organizations to provide Utah’s anglers with even more slams. “

Resources

Utah Cutthroat Slam:  Website | Watch the video top of this story on how it all works

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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