Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii); illustration by Robert W. Hines / USFWS Digital Library: Cutthroat Trout.
Official State Fish of Montana
Montana designated the blackspotted cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) as the official state fish in 1977. All State Fish
Also called westslope cutthroat trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout, the blackspotted cutthroat trout is native to Montana. According to Montana Outdoors Magazine;
"The cutthroat campaign got its most eloquent endorsement by Art Whitney, chief of the state’s Fisheries Division, who wrote, in testimony later delivered before the 1977 legislature: Probably more than any other species, the cutthroat trout symbolizes the quality we are striving for . . . in Montana. Just as this fish requires a quality habitat if he is to survive, Montanans as a people are striving for a quality of life already lost in many parts of this nation. Naming the blackspotted cutthroat trout as Montana’s state fish will be just another indication that the people in this state will settle for nothing but the very best in protecting the Montana way of life we are all dedicated to preserving.”