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New Threat Facing Lahontan Cutthroat Trout at Independence Lake: Hybridization

Independent Lake with white capped waves from the wind. Lake with green mountains and a snow covered mountain in background
The news out of UC Davis last spring knocked California native fish biologists for a loop. Genetic testing of native Lahontan cutthroat trout from Independence Lake in the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee found evidence of hybridization with non-native rainbow trout. To understand the magnitude of that news you have to understand that Independence Lake is the only lake in California – and just one of two lakes in the world – to support a self-sustaining lake population of Lahontan cutthroat trout, a trout native to the eastern Sierra range and the Lahontan basin of Nevada.