Can You Identify These Trout from an Image?

By: Monica Lee
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Sure, rainbow trout ... that's an easy one. But when you're identifying cutthroat trout you may need more than a net to catch the name of it -- as there are 14 different species of this trout. The cutthroat itself is easy to identify. Just think of someone pulling their finger across their throat. That is where the cutthroat trout has its cuts. Plus, the orange marks along the undersides of their mandibles and at the lower folding of the gill plate area make it look like recent cuts. 

If this type of trout isn't your game, maybe you like the Apache trout. This little fishy can be identified by its eyes. On each side of the pupil, you might see a small black spot, which makes it appear that each pupil has a black stripe running through each of its eyes. Kinda like a snake. And did we tell you the one about the Bonneville cutthroat trout, over 40 pounds and a fighter ... but wait, this is YOUR fish tale to tell.  We'll start it. "There was a quiz so challenging that only the best trout fisherman could survive through the entire quiz ..." Now finish the quiz and get ready to tell your own fish story. Jump in now and get your feet wet.

According to a majority of people, brook trout are probably the most beautiful of all trout species. To catch one you'll need to be in the Northeastern U.S. or Canada. This little Pisces is also a member of the char family closely related to the lake trout.

The Gila trout is native to the Southwestern United States and is considered a threatened species. Only limited sport fishing is allowed. With its golden to copper color along the sides of the body moving to a greenish color at the top of the body, this fish is a close relative to the rainbow trout and cutthroat trout.

The Apache trout is native to the cool, clean streams of mountainous Arizona. Despite recovery efforts in its native streams and other streams for many years, the Apache trout is still considered critically endangered and threatened.

The brown trout is so popular that it is found throughout the world due to stocking programs. However, its native waters include much of Europe. This species is one of the most sought-after trout.

It's no bull, this fish was once thought to be a Dolly Varden, but it's been established that it is a separate species. The bull trout can be identified by their olive bodies with red and orange spots along each side, as well as pale yellow dots along the back.

OK, maybe not a harpoon, but when mature, these fish can reach a weight up to and over 20 pounds. The northern form of this fish in Alaska can reach up to 27 pounds. So you'll have a good fight on your hands.

Although cutthroat has a different meaning when talking about criminals, in this trout the name is due to orange marks (or what looks like cuts) along the undersides of their mandibles and at the lower folding of the gill plate area.

Arctic grayling are native to cold drainages of the Pacific and Arctic oceans. They can be found in abundance in Siberia, Canada and Alaska. The arctic grayling is not actually a trout species, but since they live in many areas that are abundant with trout and are mistakenly identified as trout, we’ve included them in this quiz.

Lake trout are still closely associated with the Great Lakes, and many people still refer to them as Great Lake Trout even though their numbers have dwindled. Prized by anglers, it’s the largest type of trout native to the Great Lakes as well as a strong and surprising fighter on the line.

Rainbow trout are native to the Pacific Ocean in parts of the US and Asia although now, due to stocking efforts, they can be found all over the U.S. Not only are they aggressive fighters, these rainbows jump more frequently than most other trout, and pound for pound can outfight them all.

Some fish are made for trolling, some are made for offshore fishing and some are made for fly fishing The taimen can give you the ultimate dry fly fishing thrill. However you'll have to go to the waters of Eurasia, Mongolia and Russia to catch them.

Weirdly, one would think by the name "Splake" the fish might be a trout found in the sea or lake. Nope. Splake trout are a hybrid between the brook trout and the lake trout. Yep. It does smell fishy.

If you remember the California gold rush, you'll remember the name of this golden trout found in California as well as a few spots in Montana and Wyoming. This pretty Pisces prefers to live in cold, high mountain streams.

Mountain whitefish are most closely related to the Arctic grayling. The mountain whitefish likes eating nymphs and may occasionally pop up to eat dry flies.

This species can get up to 17 pounds. Perfect size for a family dinner. Also known as the speckled trout, they have several black spots on their back which extend to dorsal fins and tail. Also take care, as they have a pair of large canine teeth at the tip of their upper jaw.

Ohrids look like a greatly exaggerated brown trout. They have oversized fins, huge black and reddish-orange spots, a uniform tan body, and black shading along the belly. Although they may look boring now, wait for the spawning season when males are brilliantly colored.

Tiger trout are a hybrid between a male brook trout and a female brown trout. It is rare to catch a tiger trout due to genetic differences between the mother and father which results in a low egg and fry survival rate.

Going to Armenia anytime soon? Then pack your rod and reel and head to Lake Sevan. These gorgeous fish are silvery-white with a steel-colored back. During spawning, the fins on the males become almost black. On the sides of the body they develop two to three red spots.

As a hybrid of the cutthroat and rainbow trout, the cutbow usually sports a red or red-orange color slash on the near-bottom of the gill covers and jaws, and they usually show a broad pink or reddish band just below the lateral line.

Named after the aurora borealis because of their unique color patterns, the aurora trout is a member of the trout and salmon family and looks similar to brook trout. Found in northern Ontario, the adult’s average size is about one to three pounds.

In Lake Biwa, Japan, and the surrounding rivers you'll find the biwa trout. Biwa have silver-gray, slender bodies, round noses and large eyes. As a young fish, they have parr marks and vermilion dots on the side of their body that disappear with age.

Similar in appearance to coastal rainbow trout, the eagle lake trout has a large, squared-off tail for power through the water, large eyes and increased body size. The average eagle lake trout reported is about 18 inches in length and two pounds.

There aren’t many lakes in the world where you can expect to catch trout pushing 30 pounds. Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho’s Panhandle region is where you'll find this one. This massive trout can make spectacular 300-yard runs, snap 20-pound leaders and have legendary fights.

Well, you'll go hungry if you are looking to catch this for dinner. Kern River rainbow trout are classified as an endangered species. In California you'll find this beauty in the Kern River and tributaries.

Similar to other redband trout, but paler with a subtle lemon-yellow body, especially below the lateral line, the Goose Lake Redband Trout can be found in Goose Lake and tributaries in northeastern California and southeastern Oregon.

E.B. Webster said, "The hardest fighting fish, the gamiest fish in all the world is the Lake Crescent Beardslee." This famous trout is similar-looking to rainbow trout except the head is blue-gray with thick bands of iridescent indigo and sapphire arching above its big, black eyes.

Fly fishing for Mexican golden trout will require your smallest outfits, as the average size of this trout is only 8 to 10 inches long. Overall body shape and fin placement is nearly identical to rainbow trout with parr marks that normally stay the same throughout the fish's lifespan.

It's interesting to note that the redband trout are an evolutionary intermediate between the “cutthroat”-like species and coastal rainbow trout. The Great Basin redband trout is actually one of THREE redband trout subspecies of the rainbow trout in the western United States.

Native Indians and settlers in Utah relied heavily on Bonneville cutthroat to get them through the hard years. Maybe that's why in 1997, this crucial trout was designated as the official state fish of Utah. The trout once existed in great numbers in Utah Lake and was reported to reach sizes of 40 pounds or more.

The greenback cutthroat trout, in addition to being spectacularly beautiful, is native to Colorado. You'll find this beauty in Zimmerman Lake in Sherburne County, Minnesota. which provides catch and release angling opportunities.

The Snake River cutthroat trout is also called the fine-spotted cutthroat. Found in the Snake River and other areas, its body is brownish yellow with dull silvery, green or bronze tints. They have very fine spots covering the body except the belly, which is white.

You can tell a paiute cutthroat trout from other cutthroat trout by a lack of body spots and a striking iridescent purplish splash across its body. The cheeks have a rose and peach sheen. And, of course, the cuttthroat slash always identifies the 14 species of cutthroats.

Lahontan cutthroat trout is the largest subspecies of cutthroat trout and is the state fish of Nevada. Well-adapted to both lake and stream environments, Lahontan cutthroat trout may look different depending on where you catch them. The stream trout are smaller and have a darker coloring than those inhabiting lakes.

These trout represent a primitive form of rainbow trout that is believed to have invaded the Sacramento River drainage prior to the arrival of coastal rainbow trout. The McCloud River redband trout are native to the McCloud River in northern California.

Known as the Adriatic trout, Adriatic salmon, and softmouth trout, this trout is a species of salmonid fish found in the rivers of Western Balkans in southeastern Europe. However, unlike salmon, the Adriatic trout does not spend time in the sea, only rivers.

As expected, this trout has a broad, flat head, streamlined body, strong tail as well as a blunt snout and large eyes. Currently the species is classified as critically endangered. Other names of this species include Salmo platycephalus, Ala balik and the Turkish trout.

The Yellowstone cutthroat trout inhabits the rivers of Yellowstone and prefer cold, clear, oxygenated water with a gravel substrate and little sediment. You know where to find these babies, circling undercut banks and in-stream woody debris.

The Crescent cutthroat trout or the Lake Crescent cutthroat trout is a North American freshwater fish. This local form of the coastal cutthroat trout was isolated in Lake Crescent in Washington, it is believed, after a landslide blocked the eastern outflow of the lake.

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