500th angler completes Utah Cutthroat Slam
Anglers from across the country have been venturing to remote Utah locations for the past four years seeking to catch native cutthroat trout in their historic range. Along the way, they discovered adventure, new places and tight lines.
Since it was started, more than 2,000 people from across the country have registered for the slam, generating $40,000 in funds for native cutthroat conservation work.
Mark Greer of South Jordan, Utah, submitted his pictures of four cutthroat and had them approved this week to become the 500th person to complete the challenge to catch the state’s four subspecies of cutthroat trout.
The Utah Cutthroat Slam was created as a partnership between Trout Unlimited and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to educate people about the value of native fish and generate money for cutthroat trout conservation work.
“The Utah Cutthroat Slam is the perfect embodiment of a saying from one of the founders of Trout Unlimited – ‘take care of the fish, and the fishing will take care of itself,’” said Trout Unlimited President of CEO Chris Wood. “The fact anglers may participate in the program and catch native trout in their home waters in the state of Utah is a testament to the good work of state and federal agencies, Trout Unlimited and volunteers across the state.”
Participants pay $20 ($10 for youth) to register for the Utah Cutthroat Slam and then determine where they want to catch each of the subspecies – Bonneville cutthroat, Bear River cutthroat, Colorado River cutthroat and Yellowstone cutthroat – in their historic range.
Over 2,000 anglers from 41 states, and even Canada, have registered. Combined with other donations to the program, more than $40,000 has been raised for conservation projects in Utah. Projects have benefitted each of the four subspecies.
“We are really happy to see so many people participating in the Utah Cutthroat Slam – and having success,” said Utah Division of Wildlife Resources director Mike Fowlks, who recently completed his slam (No. 457). “The money from this fun initiative helps fund conservation efforts with native cutthroat trout species and we really value our partnership with Trout Unlimited in this effort.”
Those who finish the Utah Cutthroat Slam earn a certificate of completion and a medallion. The medallion was designed by Trout Unlimited, and the first 550 were purchased by the Utah Council of Trout Unlimited and the nine chapters of TU in the state, so $19 of the $20 goes directly to conservation work.
To celebrate the milestone, a random drawing was held including the names of all those who completed the Utah Cutthroat Slam since it started in April 2016. Generous donations from Orvis Fly Fishing, Trout Unlimited, Western Rivers Flyfisher and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources made up the prize packages.
The winners are Jay Barber of Farmington, Utah (No. 443); Reed Lecheminant of Murray (No. 209) and Hollie Snyder of Henderson, Nevada (No. 90).
“Each completed slam represents a unique story and experience that can’t be purchased anywhere. That’s why we started this program,” said Paul Burnett, Utah Water and Habitat Program Leader for Trout Unlimited. “We strongly believed anglers would rally around these charismatic fish that have dwelled in the rivers and creeks of Utah for thousands of years. We believe Utah Cutthroat Slam experiences lead to a broader appreciation and stewardship of our waterways. Now on to No. 1,000.”