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Saving Colorado's Greenback Cutthroat Trout

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 20:20:39-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — “Got one.”

A crew led by Colorado Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Biologists slowly push their way up Bear Creek on the west side of Colorado Springs.

Spawning season for the Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout is in early June and is important to the comeback of the trout listed as threatened.

 Bear Creek is also essential to the effort.

 Decades back, greenback cutthroat trout were wiped out from their native waters in Colorado’s South Platte drainage.

Somehow a healthy population had been transplanted to Bear Creek.

 “So, this population was the only population left in the world. They discovered that in 2012 with some genetics testing,” said CPW Aquatic Biologist, Cory Noble.

The fish in Bear Creek are now a foundational resource for returning the fish species back to their original waterways.

Wildlife biologists collect and fertilize their eggs.

“Having this wild population here where they’re naturally reproducing and doing reasonably well—it’s extremely important,” said Noble

The fertilized eggs and the young they produce go to fish hatcheries to diversify genetics in broodstock fish.

Fish from the hatcheries then go to locations like the South Platte River.
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