The fish are biting

John Ashley caught these fish – with a camera – fighting and mating during a late May/early June spawning season in Montana.

Underwater scene of large, big-jawed trout biting another.

John Ashley – who has contributed many wonderful sky photos to EarthSky – took this underwater photo May 31, 2019. He wrote: “Two female Westslope cutthroat trout argue over a favorite location.”

Orange-red fish, viewed front on, spotted, large jaw and eyes, tail visible.

Here’s another May 31 photo by John Ashley. He wrote: “A female Westslope cutthroat trout tail-slaps another in a disagreement over a favorite area.” These fish, by the way, are the official state fish for Montana.

Side view of fsh with big jaw and eye, tiny gray spots and purple gills.

John Ashley wrote of this May 31, 2019, photo: “A Westslope cutthroat trout floats motionless in a calm pool on a Montana spawning stream.”

Bottom line: Photos of spawning Westslope cutthroat trout. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was petitioned to list the Westslope cutthroat trout under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. In 2000, the FWS determined that listing the Westslope cutthroat trout was not warranted because of its wide distribution and the available habitat on public lands. Conservation efforts by state and federal agencies are currently underway to restore Westslope cutthroat trout. Read more.

Claudia Crowley

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