North America is graced with a wide variety of native salmonids, which include trout, salmon, char, grayling, and whitefish. This currently page contains pictures and information on species from four of the genuses of salmonids native to North America; Oncorhynchus (Pacific trout and salmon), Salmo (Atlantic trout and salmon); Salvelinus (Char) from the family Salmonidae and Thymallus (Grayling) from Thymallinae. It has been my goal to catch all of the North American species of trout, salmon and char and on this page I have photographs of those that I have caught so far. For more pictures and information on a specific species on this page click on the picture of the fish.

Pacific Salmon

All Pacific salmon belong to the genus Oncorhynchus, which also includes several species of Pacific trout. In North America, there are five species of native Pacific salmon: Chinook, coho, chum, sockeye and pink. Pacific salmon share several traits in common such as anadromyA migratory life history in which the fish are born in freshwater, migrate to the marine environment and return to freshwater to spawn. , semelparityWhen a fish dies after a single spawning event, and homingWhere migratory adults return to the same stream that they were born in. behaviors, although there are exceptions to these traits for some species. Such as lake and stream resident populations of some of the species that occur throughout their range.

Pacific salmon populations are currently depressed throughout much of their native range due to a variety of issues. The major threats to Pacific salmon are summed up with the four H's: 1) Harvest from commercial and recreational fishing. 2) Habitat destruction from development, logging, alterations to streams, and other issues. 3) Hydropower (dams), which block the upstream migration of adult salmon and may cause death or injury to smolts during their downstream migration. 4) Hatchery fish which compete with wild salmon for food and also interbreed with native salmon leading to a loss of fitness in the local environment. Currently, there are many efforts under way to conserve and maintain sustainable natural populations of Pacific salmon, but many populations have already gone extinct and the future of these fish remains uncertain.

Species and Subspecies

Chinook Salmon

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha


Coho Salmon

Oncorhynchus kisutch


Chum Salmon

Oncorhynchus keta


Pink Salmon

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha


Sockeye Salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka



UnrepresentedHave not be caught or photographed as part of this website Species and Subspecies

Kunimasu salmon

Oncorhynchus kawamurae

Asia - Japan

Masu salmon

Oncorhynchus masou masou


Biwa salmon

Oncorhynchus masou rhodurus

Asia - Japan

Amago salmon

Oncorhynchus masou macrostomus

Asia - Japan

Formosan salmon

Oncorhynchus masou formosanus

Asia - Taiwan


Rainbow and Redband Trout

Rainbow trout or Onchorhynchus mykiss is one of the Pacific trout that is native to western North America. Rainbow trout like Pacific salmon have the ability to migrate between fresh and salt water and home to their natal stream to spawn again. The anadromous form of rainbow trout is commonly called steelhead and has become a very popular game fish throughout the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the world where it has been introduced. Unlike Pacific salmon, all rainbow trout are iteroparous meaning that have the ability to spawn more than once. Rainbow trout are a relatively diverse species and have a number of subspecies including Coastal Rainbow trout, Columbia Basin Redband, Northern Great Basin Redband (there are several unique forms of these redbands), McCloud River Redband, Sheephaven Creek Redband, Eagle Lake Rainbow, California Golden Trout, Little Kern River Golden Trout, Kern River Rainbow Trout, and several Rainbow like trout in Mexico. In the northern great basins of Oregon, Nevada and California, there are seven unique populations of redband trout each native to a different internal basin; Harney-Malheur, Fort Rock, Upper Klamath Lake, Chewaucan, Goose Lake, Warner Lakes, and Catlow Basins. These fish are currently all identified as Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii, but the classification of these unique trout is still a matter of debate. I have included these trout here as individual populations classified under Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii. Anadromous redband and rainbow trout face the same threats as Pacific Salmon, but for non-anadromous redband and rainbow trout populations tend to be more threatened by the introduction of non-native trout. Hatchery strain rainbow trout tend to be the greatest threat to many of these subspecies because they have the ability to interbreed with them and produce hybrids, but non-native cutthroat, brook trout and brown trout have lead to the decline of many native rainbow trout populations. Due to the popularity of the rainbow trout, they have been stocked widely outside of their native range and can now be found across most of North America, and parts of Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Hatchery Strain Rainbow Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss


Coastal Rainbow Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus


Columbia Basin Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri


Harney-Malheur Basin Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii


Catlow Valley Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii


Warner Lakes Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii


Goose Lake Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii


Chewaucan Basin Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii


Fort Rock Basin Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii


Klamath Basin Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss newberrii


McCloud River Redband

Oncorhynchus mykiss stonei


California Golden Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita


Kern River Rainbow Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss gilberti


Little Kern Golden Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss whitei



UnrepresentedHave not be caught or photographed as part of this website Subspecies

Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss aquilarum

Eagle Lake, California, USA

Baja Rainbow Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss nelsoni

Baja California, Mexico


Apache and Gila Trout

The Gila and Apache Trout are native to the headwaters of the Salt and Gila River drainages of Arizona and New Mexico. These trout are believed to be most closely associated with the rainbow trout lineage but are differentiated enough to earn the status a two subspecies of the species Oncorhynchus gilae. Both of these trout are well adapted to the unstable and seemingly inhospitable environment of the American Southwest, but have suffered tremendous declines since the arrival of Euro-Americans within their native range. The main cause of their decline has been the introduction of non-native trout within their native streams, especially rainbow trout which readily hybridize with both fish. It has only been in recent years that these rare trout have started to recover as years of restoration efforts have finally started to pay off.

Gila Trout

Oncorhynchus gilae gilae


Apache Trout

Oncorhynchus gilae apache


Cutthroat Trout

The cutthroat trout or Oncorhynchus clarki is one of the species of Pacific trout that is native to western North America. Cutthroat trout get their name from markings found under their lower jaw that can be red, yellowish or orange colored and make it look as though their throat is bleeding. Like rainbow trout all cutthroat are iteroparous and the coastal cutthroat is also anadromous, although it tends to be more of a home body than the other anadromous members of the genus Oncorhynchus. Fishermen often consider the cutthroat to be too easy to catch when compared to other species of trout and they are generally misconstrued as poor fighters that will readily accept any offering. What truth is found in these opinions of the cutthroat's character is likely to be a result of the remote and rugged environment that these fish inhabit. The cutthroat trout is a diverse species which has four major lineages of that are believed to have diverged from each other about a million years ago. These four lines are considered major subspecies of cutthroat trout and included the Coastal Cutthroat, Westslope Cutthroat, Yellowstone Cutthroat and Lahontan Cutthroat. The Yellowstone Cutthroat and Lahontan in turn have also diverged into other subspecies leading to a total of 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout; four major and ten minor ones. The minor subspecies of the Yellowstone Cutthroat include the: Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat, Bonneville Cutthroat, Colorado River Cutthroat, Greenback Cutthroat, Yellowfin Cutthroat (extinct), and Rio Grande Cutthroat. The minor subspecies of the Lahontan Cutthroat are the: Humboldt Cutthroat, Whitehorse Basin Cutthroat, Alvord Cutthroat (thought to be extinct), and Paiute Cutthroat.

Like many other native salmonids, the cutthroat trout have not fared especially well across their native range with perhaps the largest threat to their existence being non-native trout. Fueled by the cutthroat's reputation as an unselective and poor fighting trout, other "more desirable" species of trout have long been stocked cutthroat waters. As it turns out the cutthroat's popular relative the rainbow trout has been the greatest threat to their existence although other non-native trout such as the brown trout and brook trout have also caused their share of problems. Brook and brown trout have a tendency to out-compete cutthroat where the fish occur together, as these two non-natives are fall spawners while cutthroat spawn in the spring. This leaves the cutthroat's offspring hard pressed to compete with the larger juvenile brook and brown that hatch several months earlier than cutthroat. While brook and brown trout are dangerous competitors to cutthroat, rainbow trout are a much greater threat due to their ability to interbreed with cutthroat. This has already left two subspecies of cutthroat; the Alvord and Yellowfin extinct and has brought a number of the other subspecies dangerously close to extinction. Today we are beginning to learn from our past mistakes and things are starting to improve for the cutthroat as they are being protected and re-introduced across their native range.

Coastal Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki clarki


Westslope Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi


Yellowstone Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri


Lahontan Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi


Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki behnkei


Humboldt Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki ssp.


Bonneville Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki utah


Alvord Cutthroat ("extinct")

Oncorhynchus clarki alvordensis


Colorado River Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus


Whitehorse Basin Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki ssp.


Greenback Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki stomias


Paiute Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki seleniris


Rio Grande Cutthroat

Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis


UnrepresentedHave not be caught or photographed as part of this website Subspecies

Yellowfin Cutthroat (extinct)

Oncorhynchus clarki macdonaldi

Twin Lakes, Colorado, USA

Atlantic Trout and Salmon

The genus Salmo is comprised of two species that are found in North America (one native and one introduced), as well as a number of other species and subspecies native to Europe, Africa and Asia. All of the fish of this genus are iteroparous (can spawn more than once). The two species from this genus that are found in North America are the native Atlantic salmon and non-native brown trout. The original distribution of Atlantic salmon in North America was form the Housatonic River in Connecticut to streams flowing into Ungava Bay in Canada. While the Pacific salmon a currently facing threats to their populations the Atlantic salmon populations are in much worst condition. Soon after European settlers began to colonize the east coast of the North American continent threats to Atlantic Salmon began to set in and today due to the same problems that are now affecting populations Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon have gone extinct in most streams in the eastern United States and are threatened or extinct in many Canadian streams as well. While the European settlers brought with them the demise of the Atlantic salmon they also brought the brown trout, which is thriving in across North America today. This trout which is native to Europe, Northern Africa and Asia has become a popular game fish across the world.

Atlantic Salmon

Salmo salar


Brown Trout

Salmo trutta



Char or the fish or the genus Salvelinus very closely related to trout and salmon but differ in appearance. While trout and salmon have black spots on a light background color, char have light colored spots on a darker background color. In comparison to trout and salmon, char tend to be more of a cold water fish and have an optimum temperature range of between 50F and 57F. In North America there are five species of char: brook trout, lake trout, bull trout, Dolly Varden and Arctic char. Three of these species; Bull Trout, Dolly Varden, and Arctic Char overlap in certain parts of their range and are so similar in appearance that genetic testing often has to be done to tell them apart.

Bull Trout

Salvelinus confluentus


Southern Dolly Varden

Salvelinus malma lordi


Brook Trout

Salvelinus fontinalis


Grayling and Whitefish

The fish of the genus Prosopium or whitefish and Thymallus or grayling are salmonids, but are much more distantly related to trout, salmon and char and are actually in separate families Thyamllinae and Coregoninae. In North America, there is only one native species of grayling Arctic grayling. There are three other species grayling as well found outside of North America, which include the: Mongolian grayling, European grayling, and Kosogol grayling. The fish of the family Coregoninae are much more prolific, with 30 species, although there are only six species of whitefish in the genus Prosopium.

Arctic Grayling

Thymallus arcticus pallus


Mountain Whitefish

Prosopium williamsoni