Colorado Springs

Colorado Parks & Wildlife work to save endangered state trout

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists set up a creekside laboratory along Bear Creek Tuesday to catch and spawn an endangered trout species.

The endangered species: the greenback cutthroat trout.

It was adopted as the state fish of Colorado back in 1994. The fish are native to the South Platte River drainage in northeast Colorado.

"In 1937 the trout were believed to be extinct, victims of pollution and pressure from fishing and competition from other species," said Bill Vogrin, with CPW's Southeast Regional Office.

However, in 2012 the trout was discovered in Bear Creek.

"It's believed that in the 1870's, innkeeper Joseph Jones stocked them in pounds he built along the creek so his guests would have cutthroat to catch," said Vogrin.

Each spring since the trout was located, CPW biologists have waded into Bear Creek to catch the greenbacks, spawn them, and send the fertilized eggs to the National Fish Hatchery in Leadville.

For more information on the history of the species, read here.

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