Great Basin Naturalist


The Pyramid Lake Lahontan cutthroat trout (Salmo clarki henshawi) population was sampled on a monthly basis from November 1975 through December 1977. A subsample of 676 trout, stratified by fish size and lake habitat, provided biological data. The entire population is presently derived from hatchery production, stocked at lengths of approximately 75 to 300 mm. Peak annulus formation occurs in March and April, followed by the period of maximum growth. Scale patterns illustrate a variable growing season. Maximum growth in length is in the first three years of life; after that males begin to grow faster than females. Males attained a greater age in our sample; i.e., the oldest male was seven years old compared to six years for females. The Pyramid Lake Lahontan cutthroat trout exhibit nearly isometric growth.

The legal sport fishery removed380 mm); other decimating factors are poorly understood. No evidence of the following diseases or pathogens was found in the Pyramid Lake population, presuming a carrier incidence of 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level: infectious pancreatic necrosis, infectious hematopoietic necrosis, viral hemorrhagic septicema, bacterial kidney disease, enteric redmouth, furunculosis, whirling disease, blood fluke; however, 7 of 235 (≈3 percent) adults sampled at the Marble Bluff fishway were positive for furunculosis.

Small trout feed primarily on zooplankton and benthic invertebrates; cutthroat trout >300 mm are piscivorous, feeding almost exclusively on tui chub (Gila bicolor). The spawning migration of Pyramid Lake cutthroat trout to the Marble Bluff egg taking facility in spring 1976 and 1977 peaked in April and May. Females mature at three or four years (352–484 mm), and males mature at two or three years (299–445 mm). Mean diameter of mature eggs is 4.51 mm; both ovum size and fecundity are a function of fish size. Fecundity ranges from 1241 to 7963 eggs, with a mean of 3815.

Lahontan cutthroat trout comprisebasis, with maximum activity during late fall and winter. Management objectives are presented and recommendations are discussed.