CPW Finds Trout That Was Thought To Be Extinct

Sep 6, 2018

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has found cutthroat trout that are unique to the San Juan River Basin.
Credit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Earlier this week, biologists with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced they have found a lineage of Colorado cutthroat trout, previously thought extinct.


CPW biologists have discovered eight small populations of the fish living in isolated habitats in the San Juan River Basin in southwest Colorado. Officials say advanced genetic testing shows distinct markers that identify this lineage as being unique.

A museum specimen found in the Smithsonian.
Credit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

There are three related subspecies of cutthroat trout in Colorado. CPW officials say all have been harmed by reduced stream flows, changes in water quality and competition with other species.

Jim White, an aquatic biologist for CPW in Durango, said in a press release the agency will look into propagating the new subspecies in hatcheries and reintroducing them to their historic habitat.