NewsCovering Colorado


Trout transport: Thousands stocked in Rampart Range Reservoir

90 million fish stocked across Colorado each year
Posted at 8:43 PM, May 15, 2023

COLORADO — The odds of success for people fishing at Rampart Reservoir went way up on a cool mid-May morning.

“These are catchable rainbow trout,” said Pueblo Fish Hatchery Manager, Quentin Springer.

Fish that have spent six months growing at the hatchery are being netted and loaded into tanks on the back of trucks for transport to Rampart Range Reservoir.

Each one counts but counting the fish one by one is not practical.

Because all the fish are very similar in size Springer knows the number of fish on the move is very close 4,500.

“We can tell if we're loading 50 pounds or 100 pounds or 200 pounds. So, you take the number of fish total that you need, and you divide that by the fish per pound.”

When trucks arrive at the reservoir the temperature and PH level of the water is compared to water in the transport tanks.

The two need to be similar to prevent stress on the fish.

“If the water temperatures don't match, we will release some of our water from the truck and we will bucket reservoir water in and we'll temper the fish to get everything as similar as possible,” said Katie Rowher with the Pueblo Fish Hatchery.

Stocking at Rampart is one stop on a very busy schedule of stocking Colorado waterways while the temperature is prime.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Aquatic Biologist Cory Noble said water below “70 degrees” is best for stocking fish.

Close to 90 million fish are stocked across Colorado each year.

“Stocking those fish to give people opportunity to catch fish in larger sizes and very abundant numbers,” said Noble.

Over the past five years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has sold between 1.1 and 1.3 million fishing licenses a year.

Proceeds from the license sales are the main funding source for fish hatchery programs.


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