Monday, August 10, 2020

Stocking greenback cutthroat trout into the Poudre River tributary system

 

Photos (above and below) by Jason Clay/CPW

 

 

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. - A multi-agency effort to restore the federally threatened greenback cutthroat trout into its native river basin took a giant hike upwards last week when an army of Colorado Trout Unlimited volunteers led by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service staff stocked the Colorado state fish into a new body of water.

Around 10 staffers and 40 volunteers from Colorado Trout Unlimited each hiked between 12-15 greenback cutthroat trout in backpacks into a Poudre River tributary stream. This introduction marks just the fifth body of water in the state the greenbacks now can call home, with four of those five within the South Platte River basin that the greenbacks are native to.

“Today is one of those exciting instances of getting a new population established,” said Kyle Battige, Aquatic Biologist with CPW. “We are trying to replicate and perpetuate this resource across the landscape, by getting greenbacks into more water bodies within the South Platte River basin.”

A total of 711 greenbacks were stocked on Tuesday, July 28. They came from the Mt. Shavano Hatchery out of Salida. It took the hatchery one year to take the fertilized eggs, hatch and raise the fish to five inches in length, primed for release into the wild.

“Colorado Trout Unlimited is a proud partner in the campaign to protect and restore our native trout,” said Dan Omasta, Grassroots Coordinator for Colorado Trout Unlimited. “This stocking project is another great example of how anglers and local communities can work together to save a threatened species. We had over 40 volunteers that traveled from as far as Eagle, Colo., and Wyoming to carry fish over nine miles into the backcountry on a rainy afternoon. The passion and dedication of our community is what drives an optimistic future for the greenback cutthroat trout.”

U.S. Forest Service personnel located the fishless stream in the Poudre River basin a couple years ago and the agencies did their due diligence to make Tuesday’s stocking become a reality. Aquatic biologists conducted stream sampling with backpack electrofishing units and took eDNA samples to confirm it was indeed a fishless location. Habitat suitability work also took place to ensure the fish would survive once stocked. Everything checked out and the greenbacks were stocked into a fifth body of water in Colorado.

“We’re excited and proud to be partnering with CPW on this important effort reintroducing greenback cutthroat trout and restoring part of Colorado’s natural heritage,” said Christopher Carrol, Fisheries Biologist and Watershed Crew Lead with the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland. “We especially want to thank Colorado Trout Unlimited and Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter of Trout Unlimited for organizing so many passionate volunteers and helping collect data that informed our decision for making the reintroduction. Shared stewardship and working together pays dividends for native species.

An important characteristic when looking to identify a reintroduction site is that the stream must be fishless. It must also have protection from invasion of non-native trout that will outcompete and overrun the greenbacks.

“This location is protected by a series of natural waterfall barriers, upwards of 20-feet, that ensures the reach we stocked will not be invaded by non-native fish downstream,” Battige said.

The greenbacks have previously been stocked into Herman Gulch, Dry Gulch, and Zimmerman Lake - all within the South Platte River drainage. These rare fish, twice believed to be extinct, are descendants of the last wild population of native greenback cutthroat trout found in Bear Creek outside of Colorado Springs in 2012. Bear Creek is the fifth body of water in Colorado where the fish currently reside.

“This project could not have been completed without the hard work and dedication of today’s volunteers. The hikes that they did range from four miles roundtrip up to nine miles and covered 1,200 to 2,400 vertical feet of elevation, so it was a pretty substantial undertaking,” Battige said.

The fish were loaded onto the hatchery truck at 3:30 a.m. and driven roughly 240 miles to the trailhead where they got loaded into bags with 1-2 gallons of water and pumped full of oxygen. The fish were put in ice water before leaving the hatchery, so they can handle the conditions better during their long journey.

“Lowering the temperature helps the fish travel well, ensures that their metabolism slows down and decreases the overall stress on the fish,” Battige said.

The water temperature in the stream was 51 degrees, so before getting stocked the volunteers tempered their fish, meaning they took time to slowly acclimate the fish to the temperature in the creek over a 10-15 minute time period.

Crews will stock additional greenbacks into the same location each summer for the next two years as they look to establish the population. They will follow up with surveys to see how the fish are doing and aquatic biologists will look for signs of natural reproduction and new greenbacks hatching in the stream in 3-4 years.

 

 

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

 

 

   

 

 

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Dropping water shutting down boat ramps

 According to multiple contributors to Fish Explorer, boat ramps are shutting down at a number of Colorado lakes, including Prewitt Reservoir, North Sterling State Park, Jackson Lake State Park, Jumbo Reservoir and Spinney Mountain Reservoir. The north ramp at Spinney remains open. It’s dry out there.

Friday, July 31, 2020

No club meetings planned for August

Because of ongoing limits on public gatherings due to the pandemic, no Loveland Fishing Club events are planned through at least the month of August, according to President Jim Baxter. This unfortunately includes the annual picnic.

Some club members are continuing to gather on Friday mornings for breakfast. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Active military and veterans get in free to Colorado state parks in August


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Bridget Kochel
Statewide Public Information Officer
720-219-2919 / bridget.kochel@state.co.us

Active military and veterans get in free to Colorado state parks in August


Colorado flag and american flag in the wind with blue skies in the background
The free August Military Passes become available on August 1, 2020. 


DENVER – As a thank you to U.S. military members, Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers active duty military, veterans and the National Guard free admission to all state parks for the month of August.

Military members and veterans, resident and nonresident, can pick up a free August Military Pass at any Colorado state park or CPW office by showing proof of service. Passes become available on August 1, 2020.

“We want to honor the brave men and women who currently serve or have served our country by hosting them at our state parks,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Dan Prenzlow. “This is an opportunity for our military and veterans to spend some quality time in nature and connect with the beautiful landscapes and natural wonders they protect.”

The free park pass provides a chance to experience Colorado’s state parks and the diverse wildlife and terrain they showcase. All other park fees remain in effect, including camping reservations, boat and off-highway vehicle registrations, and hunting and fishing licenses.

To begin planning a unique Colorado adventure, visit the CPW park finder. State park outdoor recreation activities include: 
  • Water sports- boating, kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming
  • Wildlife and wildflower viewing, birdwatching and tours with naturalists
  • Hiking, horseback riding, biking and rock climbing
  • Stargazing and geocaching
  • Accessibility programs are available to people with disabilities

CPW also offers military benefits for outdoor activities to active duty military, veterans, and disabled veterans. Programs include free admission to state parks on Veterans Day, year-round free entry to all state parks to residents with Colorado Disabled Veterans license plates and free small game and fishing combination licenses for qualified disabled veterans. CPW also offers a Columbine Pass which offers reduced park entrance fees to disabled Colorado residents.

“Our agency appreciates the sacrifices our military members make to secure our freedoms to enjoy an outdoor heritage,” said U.S Marine Corps Veteran and Southwest Region Manager Cory Chick. “This is a small token of our appreciation to thank our military and veterans for helping us protect our state lands for Coloradans to enjoy and cherish.” 

For more information about Colorado’s state parks, visit the CPW website. Learn more about Care for Colorado - Leave No Trace principles on how to recreate responsibly. 


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


   


Copyright © 2020 Colorado Parks and Wildlife, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website to receive communication from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Our mailing address is:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
1313 N Sherman St
Denver, CO 80203-2236


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