Cutthroat Trout - Colorado Wildlife Council

The Original Colorado Native

Through conservation partnerships, egg-collection efforts and hatchery programs, cutthroat trout were stocked into over 450 Colorado lakes, rivers and streams in 2020.

The cutthroat trout can be identified by its vibrant, beautiful coloration and, as its name suggests, red slashes below the jaw. Colorado is home to three subspecies of native cutthroat: the Rio Grande; Colorado River; and the renowned greenback, which was designated Colorado’s state fish in 1996. What makes the cutthroat trout so cool is its fairy “tail” life story. A key component of the cutthroat conservation tale includes wild spawning operations, where eggs are collected and fertilized from wild populations. These eggs are cared for at a fish hatchery until they grow big enough to be stocked into select Colorado waters, increasing their chances of survival. Aquatic biologists are hopeful that continued monitoring, spawning, rearing and stocking will bolster Colorado’s cutthroat populations and ensure their continued success. Any fin is possible when you don’t trout yourself!

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