Coastal Cutthrout Coalition

Tracking fine scale and broad scale movements of Searun Cutthroat in Washington State


Patterns of movement for cutthroat as they transition from periods of residency at nearshore beaches to spawning activity in freshwater is also poorly understood.  Results from acoustic tracking in Hood Canal suggests migration patterns are restricted to their natal fjord (Moore et al. 2010).  However, genetic stock assignment for Cutthroat Trout in South Puget Sound revealed migrations outside of their natal fjords (Losee et al. 2017).  These conflicting results and an absence of information for areas outside Puget Sound leaves numerous unanswered questions that are important for management of this native salmonid. 


Results from recent research in South Puget Sound suggests that coastal cutthroat trout exhibit high site fidelity in the marine water, remaining at individual nearshore locations across various life stages (Losee et al. 2018). This past work has helped to identify marine habitats important to cutthroat trout and raises questions about the long-term persistence of cutthroat populations that rely on popular fishing beaches.  Enhanced fine scale tracking at sites of high recapture rates will clarify the behavior of cutthroat trout at these beaches.

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