- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus)
Lahontan cutthroat are elongated fish, normally having a length of five times the width of the their body. This body style makes for easier maneuverability within currents. The mature trout range from 8 to 22 inches in length and weigh an average from 4 ounces and 6 pounds; this large range of averages is due to the wide variability of the species within its range.
The Lahontan cutthroat trout coloration is variable, but the trout is distinguished by the large, rounded black spots, evenly distributed over the dark jade colored topsides, head and abdomen. The underbody is more lightly colored. The back and sides of the trout are sparsely spotted, while the fins are heavily covered.
Lahontan cutthroat, like other cutthroat trout, also have a red or red-orange patch on the underside of the jaw line. This patch is where the name, cutthroat, was derived from.
The Lahontan cutthroats name was derived from the lake it once resided in, the ancient Lahontan Lake of northern Nevada, eastern California and southern Oregon that receded nearly 12,000 years ago and now makes up what is now as the Lahontan Basin.
When this large ancient lake deminished, the Lahontan cutthroat trout were left with the Pyramid, Walker and Summit lakes, as well as the tributaries and main waters of the Truckee, Walker, Quinn and Humboldt rivers of the area. This cutthroat now exists in about 10 percent of its historic stream habitat and only one percent of its past lake habitat from the early 1900s.
The Lahontan cutthroat is both a river- and lake-residing fish. The Lahontan cutthroat also reside in the tributaries of these bodies of water, where they must endure greater temperatures than in lakes and a larger span of temperature change, as much as fluctations of 28 F. The Lahontan cutthroat is the only species of trout that can survive in Walker Lake due to lake's extreme alkaline content.
Lahontan cutthroat typically spawn from April through July, depending on water temperature and water flow, spawning later than this is not uncommon though. Autumn spawning runs have been reported in some populations of Lahontan cutthroat. During the spawning run, the cutthroat display a bright orange to red coloration to the sides its body and develop a hooked jaw, both of which are more pronounced on the males.
The lake-living Lahontan cutthroat behave much the same way stream trout do in spawning; only the lake trout must migrate to a clean, riffled gravel bed, away from the deeper lake waters. These gravel beds may be found in the shallows lake waters or in its tributaries.
In these gravel-spawning beds, the female cutthroat will flip their tails to excavate a series of nests in the riffles, called redds. They will then spread the eggs through these redds. The male or multiple males swim beside the females during this process to disperse the sperm, or milt, and thus fertilize the eggs. As the females work upstream building more redds, the displaced sediment covers and protects the previously laid eggs.
Opportunistic feeders, the Lahontan cutthroat trout seek insects and other small fish, such as a large dry fly and minnow variety specific to the Lahontan Basin, the Lahontan Tui (pronounced chewy) Chub.
The opportunistic feeding of the cutthroat is required because the chub has the same food chain as the trout and thus competes for food. As a result, the cutthroat began to feed on the chub and have been so competitive that they have been known to die as a result of choking on too large of a tui chub. Lahontan cutthroat are also able to seine for the larger zooplankton, when needed.
As the Lahontan cutthroat trout strike at both the top-water and in-the-water prey species, anglers have many options for catching this species. Mid-depth spin lures are a favorite of many lure-fishermen, as is angling with flies. Typically, the larger flies, like that of a woolly worm or woolly bugger pattern, are preferred by fly-fishermen. Bright, vibrant colors, as well as the basic blacks and greens, provide action for many anglers.
- The Lahontan cutthroat trout survives in 14 of Nevada’s 17 counties.