Colorado is known for its rich biodiversity and rare animal and plant species that are difficult to find outside of the Centennial State but the rare greenback trout has had population issues lately, something a handful of Colorado biologists hope to fix.
For the past five years Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been collecting female greenback trout and the semen of male greenbacks in Bear Creek to help boost the population numbers. The team to help restore is being led by Colorado biologists Cory Noble and Josh Nehring who have found themselves in some awkward and difficult situations to help boost greenback numbers. The species is currently listed as threatened, but has been high on Parks and Wildlife’s list of concerns.
“This is the only place in the planet that this species exists, and we will go to extraordinary efforts to save it,” said Bill Vogrin, the region’s public information officer.
According to Noble, human infrastructure and development is the number one cause of greenback depopulation. Redirecting streams to open lots, sediment from roads and construction can clog greenback waterways and development has also caused a decline in the wild insects that greenbacks consume. Parks and Wildlife found that enough gravel was being pushed into Bear Creek from nearby roads to substantially impact the local greenback population. The road was closed in 2012.
Other concerns from Parks and Wildlife include the introduction of non-native fish and aquatic species that compete for the same resources as the greenbacks.