DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are on a quest to save a rare cutthroat trout from extinction after their rescue from Hayden Creek last year following a devastating wildfire.
The trout, numbered in the hundreds, were rescued from Hayden Creek during last year’s Hayden Pass wildfire in Fremont County.
Saving and breeding the 158 unique cutthroat trout is important as they are unique and contain genes matching museum specimens collected by early explorers during the late 1800s, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials.
“In 1889, ichthyologist David Starr Jordan collected a pair of trout specimens from Twin Lakes, near Leadville. Today those specimens reside at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The Hayden Creek cutthroat trout are the only known modern fish to share their genetics,” wildlife officials said in an Instagram post shared on Wednesday.
The trout, which now reside at the Roaring Judy Hatchery near Gunnison, were removed from the fire zone last year as officials had been concerned that ash and other sediment from the fire would wash into the Hayden Creek where the fish live, threatening their food and oxygen supply.