August 4, 2009

Crazy for Cutthroat

C is for Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (CRCT).
sketch from Native Trout of Western North America by Robert J. Behnke.
The name cutthroat comes from an orangish-red slash on the throat. Breeding males are especially colorful.
CRCT is native to the Colorado River plateau, which is comprised of portions of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and smaller segments of New Mexico and Arizona. This native species has been largely displaced by stocked fish, such as Brook, Brown, and Rainbow trout. Stockers are bred in fisheries where crowded conditions in tanks have resulted in Whirling Disease. This is bad for the continued viability of CRCT.
Now CRCT reign supreme only at high altitude in small, cold creeks, where other less hardy non-native varieties cannot survive. CRCT is not yet on the Endangered Species list, but with only contracted caches remaining, it should be.
In a tribute to CRCT and to his dad, our son Eric created this image of a celestial cutthroat. Note the upper left hand corner, where a starry sketch of Orion the Hunter is replaced by Steve the Hunter (some might say "fisherman", but Steve condemns that choice of words). Steve often wears a red kerchief, as characterized here. Perhaps this aligns him more closely with his cherished cutthroat.
For more C's from Denise Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday, click here.

29 comments:

  1. WoW!!Very nice capture!

    kisses,

    irina

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  2. I'm sorry to learn that another species is in danger because of human actions!

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  3. It looks very tasty - I would like to have that C-fish on my plate now :)

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  4. beautiful fish and some well used gloves.

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  5. Nice looking trout and an interesting post. I feel like one of the 'less hardy non-native varieties' as I love CO but always get altitude sickness. I like your son's illustration.

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  6. Janie: Beautiful colors on the cutthroat. I really enjoyed your son's drawing.

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  7. I love your son's artwork! Why 'Steve', I wonder?

    Shame about the Cutthroat River Trout. Same old sad story - commercialism endangers wildlife.

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  8. How interesting. I have never heard of these guys before. Great drawing.

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  9. Great post - very educational. Thx for sharing. :D

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  10. Saw the title and thought it'd be about business (or violence). well, maybe it is the violence we do to our planet. Love the artistry.

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  11. A terrible name for a beautiful fish. I hope they manage to save them. It is a standard problem with other species in Norway as well.

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  12. Janie, that's a nice little tribute to the Colorado cutthroat. There were originally 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout (some with multiple strains), the CRCT being one of them. Two subspecies have already gone extinct: The yellowfin cutthroat (extinct ~1900) and Alvord cutthroat (extinct ~1985). Some of the remaining cutthroat subspecies are dwindling in numbers, including Utah's state fish, the Bonneville cutthroat (BCT). BCT at one time covered a large swath of Utah and slivers of Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada. As recently as 30 years ago some literature proclaimed them extinct. They have been found, but they only exist in about 10% of their historic range. Several attempts to list them as endangered in the last ten years have proved futile.

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  13. Great pictures and comments. The Yellowstone Cutthroat is also threatened but mostly from crossing with rainbows planted in waters around Yellowstone. Thanks for the update on the Colorado cutts.

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  14. Nice C post! Hopefully the Cut-throat will survive man's studipity!
    Love your son's art, very cool!
    Happy ABC Wednesday.
    sherry

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  15. That's a beautiful fish ... and equally beautiful artwork. It's good to see a family tied to the land (or water, as it is in this case).

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  16. Janie you really are blessed! Your sons painting is a wonderful tribute to his father and the trout. His blog is also a terrific piece of art in itself.
    A very touching post, thanks for sharing :D

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  17. Very interesting and sad to find out that its endangered. Its a beautiful fish.

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  18. Great pic but how did they taste?
    Love,
    kelly

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  19. There used to be cutthroats here...the photos are lovely and the celestial image is perfectly beautiful!

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  20. Trout looks very attractive. I've never seen it actually.
    The image of the 'celestical cutthroat' is wonderful.That's fantastic world,isnt it?

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  21. Nice art by Eric.

    The thoughts on native vs. exotic species reminds me of a class story. We were discussing knapweed--an exotic introduced to Montana from the Russian steppe by apiarists and as a mine reclamation plant. Bees love its many beautiful nectar-rich purple flowers, but elk, cattle, and other ruminants don't eat it. It's very invasive, displacing grass and native forbs, so ranchers especially hate it. Class was over and a quiet fell over the room as students gathered their knapsacks and papers. In a clear, quiet voice, a N Cheyenne student said, "Knapweed. Just like White People."


    PS: thanks for the insights on your dogs & horses getting along, or at least tolerating each other.

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  22. that sure was an interesting post!

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  23. It's such a colorful fish. Love Eric's artwork.

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  24. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment.

    I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog

    very often.
    ___________________
    Julie
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