Whenever you’re in a survival situation, you’re probably going to have to do things that you normally wouldn’t do. This certainly includes eating things that you normally wouldn’t eat.
There are many more animals out in the world that are edible that might be suggested by our everyday menus, but even among food that we are familiar with you might be forced to procure exotic species in a survival situation.
Taking fish as an example, how about cutthroat trout? Can you eat cutthroat trout in a survival situation?
Yes, you can eat cutthroat trout. All of their many species tend to be larger fish, and are highly nutritious, making them a great resource in a survival situation.
Hunting and trapping can be labor- and material-intensive endeavors and a survival situation, and potentially dangerous.
Fishing requires far less energy and is much safer, and catching a large fish can make for an excellent and highly nutritious meal for a survivor.
You could do a whole lot worse than catching any species of cutthroat trout. We’ll talk more about these fish as survival food in the rest of this article…
Where are Cutthroat Trout Found?
Cutthroat trout or a family of fish there are among the most widely distributed and popular game fish found in North America, and are most numerous throughout Western North America wherever major regional drainage basins are found.
From the Pacific Northwest and Alberta Canada all the way down into the American southwest there is one species or another that can be found.
Also worth mentioning is that various species have been introduced throughout the U.S., including east of the Mississippi, in areas that they never occupied throughout their historic range.
Although a highly contentious topic among conservationists and fishermen, this is good info to know when planning your survival strategy: anybody of water that will serve as a habitat to cutthroat trout can be an abundant source of excellent food in a survival situation.
Nutritional Info for Cutthroat Trout
Trout, like most fish, provide a highly nutritious meat.
Although there are some variations depending on the exact species, you can generally depend on cutthroat trout to provide you with an excellent cross-section of macronutrients in the form of protein and fats, and an excellent assortment of vitamins and minerals.
Particularly, trout contains a tremendous amount of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, B1, B3, and B5, but also plenty of vitamin d and a little bit of folate.
Most other vitamins are present in lesser amounts, with the notable exception of vitamin K.
The mineral content of cutthroat trout is similarly impressive, with plenty of phosphorus, selenium, copper, manganese and iron to be had along with a little bit of calcium, magnesium, choline, zinc, and sodium.
The protein in fat will provide you with plenty of sustained short and long-term energy, and the vitamin and mineral content will ward off all sorts of diseases and maladies associated with malnutrition.
There is a reason that diets consisting mostly of fish tend to be very healthy!
Does Cutthroat Trout Taste Good?
Cutthroat trout species are generally considered to taste pretty good, with a typically rich flavor that is similar to salmon.
However, the quality and character of any given cutthroat trout will depend on its habitat and diet, so you can expect some (possibly significant) variability in taste based on your catch.
The types usually judged to taste consistently good are sea run trout. Eating a diet consisting mostly of small crustaceans, they tend to have a clear, wholesome flavor.
Trout that occupy muddy waters and eat mostly snails, slugs and insects are often said to taste “muddy” themselves, though there are plenty of fishermen and diners who contest that opinion.
How much of this boils down to the palate of the individual is still debated:
Overall, cutthroat trout is a very popular fish and it’s generally agreed that its flavor is at least agreeable and rarely unpleasant if prepared with skill.
But what matters most is that, bottom line, if you are able to catch a cutthroat trout in the wild it will a nutritious meal for yourself or for a group of survivors.
This type of fish should never be overlooked as an excellent source of survival food.
Is it Safe to Eat Cutthroat Trout Raw?
No. All you sushi-lovers, read and heed: Eating any raw meat, and that includes raw fish, is a significant to massive health risk. This includes wild-caught fish, even those sourced from seemingly pristine waters.
Raw fish poses the possibility of passing on parasites and diseases that can be very harmful, if not lethal, to humans. Some of these parasites include tapeworms, roundworms and flukes.
Diseases you might catch from consuming raw trout include salmonellosis (commonly called salmonella) and vibriosis.
Vibriosis is especially dangerous, and is a disease commonly caused by eating raw or undercooked seafood.
Symptoms of vibriosis include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. The disease can be fatal in some cases.
The only safe way to consume cutthroat trout is by cooking it thoroughly at a high temperature. This will ensure that any parasites or other organisms are killed off before you eat it.
Can You Eat Cutthroat Trout Scales?
Yes, you can, but they are not great eating. Your best bet, as with most scaled fish, is to remove them before cooking.
Trout scales are difficult to remove with your hands, so opt for using a good sharp knife or a fish scaler instead. A good reason to add one to your survival kit.
But if you’re feeling adventurous, however, you can try eating them. Roasting them until they are crispy and brittle will make them easier to chew and swallow, and some folks do like them as they will add some texture to your meal.
How About Cutthroat Trout Eggs?
Yes, you can eat trout eggs. Trout eggs are considered a delicacy in some countries, and are safe to eat if you can locate them on the stream bed.
If obtained, you can fry them up in a sort of scramble or just heat them and add them to the rest of your cooked trout meal for some extra protein and flavor.
However, locating the eggs is harder than it might sound and depending on the water source, the conditions and your circumstances you might well be better off saving your energy and focusing on catching the fish itself.
Can You Eat the Bones of the Cutthroat Trout?
No, and you generally shouldn’t try. Humans aren’t supposed to eat bones directly as they tend to be just a hazard.
Trout bones are no different: they are thin and sharp and can easily injure your throat or cause you to choke, so it’s best to just bone your trout for safety.
However, if you are truly desperate for every bit of nutrition you can get the bones can still be used to your advantage.
The bones can be boiled or simmered in water to leach out the nutritious marrow and create a tasty broth. The longer you simmer the bones, the richer your broth will be. This can be added to soups for flavor or drunk on its own.
Alternately you can crack open the bones and scrape out the marrow to cook and eat directly, or grind the bones into a fine powder that can be used to fortify other dishes.
Can You Eat Cutthroat Trout Organs?
The idea of eating slimy fish guts is enough to turn the stomach of even hardened preppers and outdoorsmen, but it can be done safely with some caution.
The organs of the fish, especially the heart and liver, are generally considered safe to consume.
If you do choose to eat the intestines, make sure that they are totally cleaned out and preferably soaked for some time in order to make them more palatable.
In general you can eat organ meat from fish like the organs of any other animal but you must always be cautious to make sure the fish appears healthy and the organs themselves are free from parasites and other defects or irregularities that might indicate trouble.
It goes without saying that you should not eat any fish or other animal that appears diseased or otherwise unwell!
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.