Unique cutthroat trout discovered in Southwest Colorado

Photos courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife
This photo was taken in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. in 2012 by academic researchers who were looking for old trout specimens. A clip of this fish was taken that identified it as a San Juan lineage Colorado River Cutthroat trout. The fish came to the museum in 1874 after naturalist Charles E. Aiken collected and preserved samples of fish found in the San Juan River near Pagosa Springs.

By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists have discovered a unique genetic lineage of the Colorado River cutthroat trout in Southwest Colorado that was thought to be extinct. The agency will continue to evaluate the findings and collaborate with agency partners to protect and manage populations of this native trout.

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In August, north of Durango, crews from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the U.S. Forest Service hiked into two small, remote creeks affected by the 416 Fire and removed 58 fish. The rescued fish were identified as being from the San Juan lineage Colorado River Cutthroat trout. CPW anticipates stocking these fish in a creek on Wolf Creek Pass in the future.