In Utah, the word "fish" brings to mind the simple robust form of a trout for anglers
and non-anglers alike. Trout are by far the most popular game fish within the state.
Their beauty and fighting ability draws anglers from near and far. Trout are held in
high regard by people from all walks of life. The following pages are meant to bring
attention not only to trout and their habitat but other species of fish as well. Habitats
range from small mountain streams to enormous lakes. Most fish, especially trout require
cool, clean water for survival. Fish in general are usually the first species to disappear
from polluted waters. Visit our Habitat page for more information.
Each of the links below will take you to a specific fish and provide information about
common name, scientific name, diet, habitat, spawning, distribution, origin and
characteristics. We have also added a section about the state record catch and a section
about the relatively new catch & release record.
The name by which the fish is more commonly known. Most people don’t walk around saying,
“I caught a six pound Oncorhynchus mykiss last weekend”. Instead they say, “I caught a
six pound Rainbow Trout last weekend”.
Many species of fish look alike, making it difficult to tell them apart. To further
complicate the matter many types of fish have different common names in different parts
of the country. To distinguish one from another, biologists give each a scientific name
that is unique to that organism. The names are derived from the Latin language and consist
of a genus and a species. The genus name is first and is capitalized. The species is
second and is in lower case. While several organisms in the same "family" share a common
genus name (like family members sharing a last name), they have different species names.
Occasionally, two members of a family are so similar that one is considered a subspecies
of the other. In such cases, the organism is given two species names.
Fish eat a wide variety of organisms, depending upon location and species. Young fish
typically eat small items, such as invertebrates, insects, larvae, and zooplankton.
In addition to these small items older fish also eat snails, leeches, frogs, mice, snakes,
as well as other fish. In general fish will not grow to record size in waters where larger
prey is not available. The ability to live on smaller prey allows some species to thrive
in certain habitats.
Some fish build nests, called redds while others simply deposit their eggs on the bottom.
Redds are created by fanning the bottom with their tail (caudal) fin to create a depression
in clean gravel where eggs are then deposited. Once the eggs are deposited they are quickly
fertilized and then covered with a layer of gravel. Most fish spawn in the spring or fall,
however some fish like the wiper do not spawn (they are genetically sterile).
Trout eggs are larger and fewer in number than those of many other fish species. For example,
while a mature female walleye may have 50,000 to 100,000 eggs, a mature female trout may
only have 1,000 to 3,000 eggs. After the trout eggs hatch, the young fish remain in the
gravel (for a couple of days to two weeks depending on the species) before emerging to feed.
Where is the fish located throughout the state of Utah. Only certain fish are located
throughout the entire state. Several unique fish are found in only two or three areas.
For example, the Wiper can only be found in Willard Bay.
Where is the fish native. Utah only has one species of native trout, the Bonneville
Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki utah).
What does the fish look like and how can you tell it apart from similar species. What
color, shape, and size is the fish. What is unique or distinctive about this fish, such as
fins or spots.