Photo:  Bull trout and WCT, Pat Clayton.
The Coeur d’Alene Basin is home to a wide range of native and introduced fish. Some of these fish are highly sought by anglers, while others are seldom seen, non-game species. Native fish include westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, sculpin, and others while introduced fish include species like northern pike, smallmouth bass, and brook trout. Aquatic habitats range from forested mountain streams to small, shallow lakes to the many bays of Coeur d’Alene Lake.

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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Activities and Uses Basin Assessment Waterfowl Water Quality Vegetation Wildlife 2000 Injury Determination Report