Rio Grande Trout

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Rio Grande Trout Salmo spilurus (Cope)


This trout is known only from the upper Rio Grande basin and southward into the mountains of Chihuahua. It is abundant in most mountain streams, but irrigation operations in Colorado and New Mexico have proved very destructive to it on account of the small fish running up the ditches and out upon the fields where they perish. Del Norte and Wagonwheel Gap, Colorado, used to afford excellent trout fishing. The trout were abundant, of good size (2 to 2 1/2 feet), and were very gamy.

Rio Grande Trout Salmo spilurus

Head 3 1/2; depth 4; D. 11; A. 10; scales 37-160-37. Head rather short, its upper surface considerably decurved; interorbital space transversely convex, obtusely carinated the head more convex than in any other species; mouth large, maxillary reaching past eye; teeth on vomer in 2 distinct series; dorsal fin low in front, high behind, the last ray more than 2/3 height of first; last ray of anal rather long; caudal with its middle rays about as long as the others. Colour, back and sides profusely covered with round black spots, most developed posteriorly, few on the head, most numerous on the caudal and adipose fins ; side with Pale blotches. Very much resembling the Colorado River trout except that the scales are considerably larger and less crowded anteriorly.

From American Game and Food Fishes. Jordan and Evermann 1902.