Fish and Aquatic Life
Westslope cutthroat trout are common throughout the Basin, but their numbers and distribution have been reduced by mine-waste contamination, other pollution, predatory fish, poaching, and other factors. In many parts of the Basin, cutthroat trout have been staging a recovery with more and larger cutthroat trout awaiting angler’s casts.
Bull trout were also once widespread in the Basin, but they are greatly reduced in number and have been listed as a threatened species. Many of the same factors that reduced cutthroat trout populations affected bull trout. These fish are especially sensitive and require clean, cold water. They now occupy a fraction of their historic habitat, but there are areas that still provide bull trout with quality habitat.
Other fish that can be found in the Coeur d’Alene Basin include several species of sculpin and suckers, northern pike, smallmouth bass, longnose dace, kokanee, and many others.
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