UTAH — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) announced on October 5 that the Utah Cutthroat Slam had reached 1,000 participants. The objective is for participants to catch all four native cutthroat trout species in their native habitat within the state. This year’s program ended on September 12 with over $78,000 raised to help restore cutthroat trout populations within Utah.
The Utah Cutthroat Slam was launched in 2016 as a partnership between UDWR and Trout Unlimited. To complete the task, participants must travel through several regions of Utah to catch a Yellowstone Cutthroat, Bonneville Cutthroat, Bear River Cutthroat, and Colorado River Cutthroat trout. The registration fee of $20 goes towards conservation efforts to help each species.
“There was a time when there were few cutthroat trout populations in the state,” DWR Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. “We have done a ton of restoration work to bring cutthroat back, and they are now a true conservation success story in Utah. The Utah Cutthroat Slam helps fund projects that continue our restoration of cutthroat trout.”
In addition to the 1000 completed slams this year, 22 conservation projects were completed with money from registration fees, 100 anglers completed the slam multiple times, 16 times was the most by a single individual, and the registered participants came from 48 states. To commemorate the achievements made this year, new medallions will be added for participants who reach certain milestones.
“We are thrilled to have reached this milestone and to have contributed so much to conservation efforts in Utah,” said Brett Prettyman with Utah Trout Unlimited. “But the real magic of the slam is the stories we hear from anglers about spending time with family and friends in pursuit of the fish to complete the slam. The memories they have created are helping fund the cutthroat fishing memories of the coming generations.”
The official 1000th person to complete the slam was Terrance Cook of South Jordan.
“When I was young, my dad took me fly fishing often but I never really became interested in it until a recent trip with family and friends to try and catch the Yellowstone cutthroat,” Cook said. “I was hooked on the slam after that trip. I’ve learned so much about cutthroat trout identification, habitat conservation and had a lot of fun visiting new places. My thanks to the DWR and Trout Unlimited for creating this program. I’ll be doing it again for sure.”