Field surveys were conducted during 1997 and 1998 documenting the distribution and abundance of Colorado River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus) in Escalante River tributaries. This documented occurrence of native trout in the Escalante River drainage of southern Utah represents an expansion of the known historic range of this subspecies as reported before the 1990s. We found 5 populations of native trout ranging in biomass from 3.0 to 104.2 kg ha−1 and occupying 13.2 km of stream of 130 km of estimated historic habitat. Current distribution and abundance of Colorado River cutthroat trout were compared to early introductions of nonnative trout stocked for sport fishing purposes. Native cutthroat trout have been displaced by nonnative cutthroat trout (O. c. bouveri), rainbow trout (O. mykiss), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), and brown trout (Salmo trutta) except where they were isolated by physical or biological barriers. Displacement may have been more extensive except for the remoteness of the drainage and relatively recent introductions of nonnative trout. These conditions limited the overall amount of the drainage stocked, numbers of nonnative trout stocked, and time over which stocking occurred. Discoveries of native trout populations within the Escalante River drainage have allowed expanded conservation of this subspecies by adding new populations to what was known to exist and by increasing the known natural range of this fish.
Hepworth, Dale K.; Ottenbacher, Michael J.; and Chamberlain, Charles B.
"Occurrence of native Colorado River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus) in the Escalante River drainage, Utah,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 61:
2, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol61/iss2/1