COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado’s state fish, once thought extinct, now has a new home at the Bear Creek Nature Center in Colorado Springs.
The greenback cutthroat trout was believed to have been wiped out by mining pollution and other threats in the 1930s from the Platte River Basin where they once thrived. The fish were later discovered in pockets of Bear Creek having been brought to the Pikes Peak Region in the 1800s by an innkeeper for his guests to catch.
Now, Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists are working to bring the fish back to healthy population levels. Several were recently raised at the hatchery in Leadville and brought back to Bear Creek Nature Center where they will live out their lives in a new 300 gallon aquarium.
Aquatic biologists say the fish were brought to Colorado Springs to help educate the public about this unique species, and to understand why it’s so important to protect them. Efforts are underway across the state to reintroduce the fish in other areas.