Studying Westslope Cutthroat Trout Hybridization

Project Year: 2016-2017

View Provincial Database Record

Westslope Cutthroat Trout

Project Lead

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations


Columbia Region

East Kootenay

Project Type

Species-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Upper Kootenay Ecosystem Enhancement Action Plan: Streams Action Plan

Project ID


Westslope Cutthroat Trout Hybridization Evaluation

This is year two of a four-year project aimed at determining the extent of Westslope Cutthroat Trout hybridization with Rainbow Trout in the Upper Kootenay drainage system. Tissue samples will be collected and genetically analyzed at the University of Montana using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) chips. Results will identify hybridization in individuals and populations, and guide actions to conserve Westslope Cutthroat Trout.

This project has four broad objectives:

  1. fill data gaps on current levels of hybridization in the Upper Kootenay Watershed, which is this species’ largest remaining stronghold;
  2. identify Westslope Cutthroat Trout populations that are pure strain for high priority conservation;
  3. compare hybridization over time; and
  4. monitor hybridization prior to and after actions are taken to remove sources of hybridization.

View more about this project on the provincial database