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rio grande cutthroat trout stocking

Depending on the experience an angler is after, one can day-trip from the truck or turn their search for RGCT into a remote wilderness experience. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has dedicated significant resources toward improving the conservation status of RGCT. When completed, this project will have restored RGCT to approximately 120 miles of stream, 15 lakes, and one 300-acre reservoir in the Rio Costilla watershed of northern New Mexico. Rio Grande cutthroat have the distinction of being the southern most subspecies of cutthroat trout. Photo: Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout loaded on backpacks destined for stocking in Rito de los Frijoles, Bandelier National Monument. Projects have ranged from barrier construction/restoration to keep non-native trout out of conservation waters, habitat restoration, genetics analysis, and public outreach and education. A nice sized Rio Grande cutthroat trout from small creek in Northern New Mexico. The beautiful and vibrant cutthroat trout gets its name from the red slash under its jaw. This type of repatriation effort benefits RGCT in two ways; by creating a new conservation population of RGCT in Rito de los Frijoles and by duplicating the El Rito RGCT population on the landscape. Click the tab headings below for more Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout information. The Rio Grand cutthroat trout has dwindled in its native habitat. Rio Grande cutthroat trout – a native subspecies of New Mexico – are as integral to the land’s history as its ecosystems. Species such as Brook Trout and Brown Trout often compete with RGCT for food. A multi-agency effort to restore it still can inspire anger and concern. (Provided by Colorado Fish and Wildlife) The historic range of Rio Grande cutthroat trout has been reduced over the last 150 years due to many landscape changes, including drought, water infrastructure, habitat changes, hybridization with rainbow trout and other species of cutthroat trout, and competition from brown trout and brook trout. The New Mexico Game and Fish Department stocked almost 10,000 young Rio Grand cutthroat trout into the into the Rio Grande Gorge north of Taos river as part of a long-range plan to spur interest in the state fish and restore it in other streams and creeks. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the U.S. Catching a Rio Grande Cutthroat trout is a one-of-a-kind experience. This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2014-0042. Osie Samie. Between 2007 and 2020, the Western Native Trout Initiative has provided $692,945 in funding to 24 projects to benefit Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. This decision showed how successful projects led by the Department and other partners have improved the conservation status of this iconic fish. The Department releases an average of 300,000 cutthroat—mostly small fry—per year, Jacobson noted. NMDGF is currently planning for future restoration projects in the Pecos River watershed. RGCT are brilliantly colored, with brass colored sides transitioning to green and bronze toned backs complete with sparse spotting patterns. Currently, 129 conservation populations of RGCT exist throughout their distribution and 89 of these populations occur in New Mexico. Ron Loehman, Conservation Chair. In addition, RGCT from Seven Spring Hatchery are frequently stocked throughout the state to provide additional angling opportunities. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout being reintroduced to Comanche Creek . READ the 2013 Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Conservation Agreement, Download this brochure about Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout by clicking on the link below. Most RGCT conservation populations are catch-and-release only and the remaining populations are protected by a bag limit of 2 fish per day with gear restrictions. Rito de los Frijoles was stocked with RGCT transferred from El Rito in 2018 with the help of volunteers and cooperative agencies. Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis, can be found in high elevation streams and lakes of the Rio Grande, Canadian, and Pecos River drainages in Colorado and New Mexico, giving it the southern-most distribution of any form of Cutthroat Trout.It now only occupies just 12 percent of its historic habitat in approximately 800 miles of streams. The introductions of nonnative trout species has been identified as the biggest factor in the decline of RGCT in New Mexico. Rio Grande Cutthroat. Vidal Creek on the Valle Vidal, Rio Costilla watershed. of Game and Fish, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. The aquarium at the Los Alamos Nature Center features four species of fish that are native to the Jemez River: Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, Rio Grande Suckers, Rio Grande Chub, and Longnose Dace. Like most trout species, RGCT require clean, cold water, ample riparian cover, and diverse in-stream cover to survive. If you have questions regarding fishing regulations or where to catch RGCT, feel free to contact NMDGF. It was stocked Dec. 29 with 515 rainbow trout and stocked again Jan. 5 with 546 rainbow trout.There should be plenty of trout to be caught now that the ice is safe for fishing. We are always happy to help. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout John N. Rinne, USDA Forest Service, Roclcy Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, 2500 S. Pine Knoll, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001 Introduction The Rio Grande cutthroat trout was once wide­ spread in the upper Rio Grande and Canadian River basins of northern New Mexico and south-central of Game and Fish, U.S. The photos below are Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Though some RGCT populations are easily accessible, the majority are located in more remote areas. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout collected from the Pecos River watershed, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout collected from the Rio Grande watershed. For example, the Las Conchas fire of 2011 cleared Rito de los Frijoles of nonnative Brook Trout and its habitat was recently deemed suitable for RGCT reintroduction. The Rio Grande Cutthroat has officially been designated as the New Mexico State Fish. Adults grow up to 12-13 inches long. (PEEC Archival Photo) By Casey Harthorn, New Mexico Department of Game & Fish. However due to the loss of populations across t… Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) found that listing the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis) under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted at this time. Current and historic distribution of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (click for larger image). They currently live in only about 100 headwater streams, occupying 10 percent of their former range. We were done fishing for the day and we decided to continue up stream for a walk. Terminal fish barrier located on Rio Costilla This barrier prevents nonnative fishes from traveling upstream into newly established Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout populations. Both of the photos below are of Lake Fork Conejos Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Popular areas for fishing include the Rio Costilla, upper Pecos, and Jemez regions. Costilla Creek: The Department has implemented the final phase of a project to expand Rio Grande cutthroat trout in 120 miles of the Costilla watershed in northern New Mexico. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Jicarilla-Apache Nation, the Mescalero-Apache Nation, and the Taos Pueblo tribe and conservation organizations such as the Western Native Trout Initiative and Trout Unlimited has collaborated to work on range-wide protection plans and completed numerous conservation projects for the species. Many RGCT populations in New Mexico are managed as “Special Trout Waters”. Rainbow trout probably were stocked in McKittrick Creek in the early 1900s when the Game, Fish and Oyster Commission of Texas was actively pursuing a rainbow trout stocking program throughout the state. Likely fished by the ancient Anasazi civilization, they were also the first trout to be identified in the New World by early explorers. The success of this project is attributable to the cooperation between agencies including; Turner Enterprises, Inc., the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and Trout Unlimited. Browse more videos. 3:51. Historically, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout occupied all cool waters in the Rio Grande drainage, including the Chama, Jemez and Rio San Jose drainages, along with suitable waters of the Pecos and Canadian drainages. Native trout in Colorado are of three cutthroat subspecies: Colorado River, Rio Grande, and Greenback. Although it’s the state fish of New Mexico, the Rio Grande cutthroat trout is imperiled. The Rio Grande cutthroat was the first trout to be discovered in North America by Europeans and was first described in 1541 by Spaniards crossing the southwest in search of gold. Abstract. Therefore, the Service will remove this subspecies from the candidate list. The Rio Grande cutthroat was the first trout documented in the New World. Rio Grande Gorge Cutthroat Trout Stocking. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish operates Seven Springs Hatchery for the production of RGCT for conservation and recreational purposes. Unfortunately, RGCT currently occupy only 12% of their historic distribution due to interactions with nonnative trout species and widespread habitat loss. Although long known to Native Americans, the first written account of RGCT came from Spanish explorers in 1541. Click here to watch a short video produced by WNTI featuring Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in southern Colorado. View the press release here. Catching a Rio Grande Cutthroat trout is a one-of-a-kind experience. Genetically pure populations of this rare native trout … rio grande gorge stocked with rio grande cutthroat trout TAOS – Department of Game and Fish personnel plan to stock the Rio Grande Gorge with almost 10,000 Rio Grande cutthroat trout March 24. Rio Grande cutthroat trout: O. c. virginalis (Girard, 1856) Native to New Mexico and southern Colorado. Taos Pueblo, Rio Grande Gorge and Earthships, New Mexico. Wildfire has the potential to significantly impact the conservation status of RGCT in New Mexico. The project is part of a long-planned strategy to restore the native Rio Grande cutthroat trout to waters where its numbers have dwindled toward the edge of extinction. I think it would be fun to take a trip to the Valles Caldera to fly fish for the Rio Grande cutthroat. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout is one of two native species of trout found in New Mexico (The other native New Mexico trout specie we have is the Gila Trout which is only found in southern part of the state). As a result of these changes, Rio Grande cutthroat trout populations are restricted primarily to headwater streams. ©2019 Western Native Trout Initiative. Rio Grande Gorge Cutthroat Trout Stocking. They meet quarterly to bring together representatives of public agencies and private organizations and who, by their mission statement, are “committed to improving the security of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (RGCT) in their historic range… to … Fish mature at ages 3-5 and typically spawn in late May to early June during times of receding snowmelt runoff. Wildfire risk assessments completed in 2013 found that 86% of RGCT populations exist in high wildfire risk areas. READ MORE about New Mexico Game and Fish Department’s efforts to conserve Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Playing next. Working Group Meeting: In November I attended a meeting of the Rio Grande Cutthroat Working Group. Headwaters of Cow Creek, Pecos River drainage. A conservation team established in 2003, composed of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, New Mexico Dept. However, the Service is asking the public to submit any new information that becomes available concerning the status of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout at any time. RGCT occupy high-elevation headwater streams and lakes throughout southern Colorado and New Mexico. The Greenback cutthroats inhabited Eastern Slope rivers and is of special interest to RMF because the chapter’ home waters are the site of major Greenback restoration and protection projects. Report. Volunteers are needed to help carry the native fish down into the gorge by packing them in on foot. The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis) historically occupied in various cool streams throughout the Rio Grande Watershed, including the Chama, Jemez Rio San Jose, the Pecos, and Canadian drainages.Today, they currently live in only about 100 headwater streams in Colorado and New Mexico (10 percent of their former range). The Rio Grande cutthroat trout, New Mexico’s state fish, once ranged from southern Colorado to southern New Mexico, but today occupies only 10% of its former range. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis; RGCT) is the southernmost occurring subspecies of Cutthroat Trout and is designated as New Mexico’s state fish.RGCT are brilliantly colored, with brass colored sides transitioning to green and bronze … Historically, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout occupied all cool waters in the Rio Grande drainage, including the Chama, Jemez and Rio San Jose drainages, along with suitable waters of the Pecos and Canadian drainages. A majority of projects focus on removing nonnative fishes from historic RGCT waters in order to restock newly restored streams with genetically pure RGCT. From the April 2014 Newsletter. They are generalist feeders, eating a variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects as well as the occasional fish. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. The NMDGF is continually working to duplicate at-risk RGCT populations on the landscape through fish transfers and wild-spawning efforts. By duplicating important RGCT populations, the risk of wildfires wiping out entire genetic strains of RGCT is reduced. The Service found that the Rio Grande cutthroat trout is not in danger of extinction throughout its range or in a significant portion of its range now, nor is it likely to become so in the foreseeable future. The Gila trout is going to be tricky because I have little experience in that neck-of-the-woods. Anglers can find RGCT throughout the Northern portions of New Mexico. The Rio Costilla Project is one of the largest native fish restoration projects undertaken in U.S. history. Photo credit: Frank Weisbarth. Restoring RGCT to this area will both improve their conservation status and provide unique angling opportunities. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis; RGCT) is the southernmost occurring subspecies of Cutthroat Trout and is designated as New Mexico’s state fish. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis)Data: Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Status Assessment - 2008 Conservation Agreement for Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout - 2013 Partners: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, New Mexico Dept. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis), a member of the family Salmonidae, is found in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado in tributaries of the Rio Grande.,. U.S. This project has increased the current distribution of RGCT by 12% and reclaimed 2% of their historic distribution since beginning in 2002. Organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity proudly exclaim that their work resulted in Rio Grande cutts being eligible for the Endangered Species list in 2014. For more than 20 years, agency biologists have been searching for Rio Grande cutthroat trout populations, studying their habitat, and restoring the species to streams. Environmental Assessment Rio Costilla Project, Finding Of No Significant Impact Rio Costilla Project, To conserve, regulate, propagate and protect the wildlife and fish within the state of New Mexico using a flexible management system that ensures sustainable use for public food supply, recreation and safety; and to provide for off-highway motor vehicle recreation... (Read more...), Phone: (505) 476-8000 | Toll-free (888) 248-6866, Copyright © 2016 New Mexico Department of Game & Fish | All Rights Reserved, New Mexico Fishing Rules and Information Booklet. If the fish themselves weren’t enough to convince you to go fishing, RGCT live throughout the most scenic locations in the state. The Río Grande cutthroat trout, the state fish, is now a rare species and needs all the help and attention it can get. Due to the small waterbodies they inhabit, RGCT do not usually attain large sizes with mature fish generally reaching a maximum length of 10-12 inches. About 10,000 cutthroat trout will be stocked in the Rio Grande later this year during the Department’s annual Rio Grande gorge stocking event. Where can anglers currently fish for Rio Grande cutthroat trout (RGCT)? This beautiful trout is considered a minor subspecies of the Yellowstone cutthroat and is native to the Rio Grande, Canadian and Pecos River drainages of New Mexico and Colorado. Historically, the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis) occupied all cool waters in the Rio Grande drainage including the Chama, Jemez, and Rio San Jose drainages, along with suitable waters of the Pecos and Canadian drainages. Photos courtesy of Kevin Terry. The majority of opportunity lies in the northern part of the state throughout the Rio Grande basin and Pecos River basin. Blueheads and Bonnevilles – Weber River, Utah, Rio Grande Cutthroat Species Status Report, 2013 Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Conservation Agreement. The cutthroat's medley of colors and spots make it one of the most cherished fish among Colorado anglers. Popular areas for fishing include the Rio Costilla and upper Pecos River. Other serious threats to the conservation status of RGCT include wildfire and drought. They currently live in only about 100 headwater streams, occupying 10 percent of their former range. Fishing for trout was good using double nymph fly rigs in slow-moving pools and mayfly dry dropper setups in the riffles. Fenton also has wild brown trout and you might catch a Rio Grande cutthroat trout from an earlier stocking. Rio Grande cutthroat trout Greenback cutthroat trout: O. c. stomias (Cope, 1871) Native to the Arkansas and South Platte River headwaters on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado; it is designated as threatened (1978). Other projects focus on protecting current RGCT populations from nonnative fish by installing fish barriers and by monitoring the health of existing populations. Additionally, Rainbow Trout can hybridize with RGCT leading to the loss of genetically pure RGCT populations. Please consult the New Mexico Fishing Rules and Information Booklet prior to planning your fishing trip. In 1541, a chronicler of the Coronado expedition noted truchas—trout—swimming about in a tributary to the Pecos River as the explorers made their way toward Kansas. Native trout don’t live in ugly places! All rights reserved. Many RGCT populations in New Mexico are managed as “Special Trout Waters.” In 2008 the US Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to list RGCT under the Endangered Species Act, but their listing was deemed unwarranted in 2014. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines ESA Protection for the Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout is Not Warranted. And in the case of native trout, we need to work towards stocking them more and nonnative trout less. Rio Grande: Stream flow at the Taos Junction Bridge Monday morning was 167 cfs. Competition with non-native trout, coupled with habitat loss, now limits the imperiled native trout to less than 10 percent of its original range. Erik Myhre – Photographer. Consider the Rio Grande cutthroat, for example. Follow. saving the rio grande cutthroat trout Large numbers of Rio Grande cutthroat trout once swam the cool, clear waterways of southern Colorado and New Mexico. Broodstock kept at Seven Springs are genetically pure RGCT sourced from populations throughout the state. Cutthroat survival: Stocking the Río with native trout They were all patiently waiting for the same thing—a bag of fish, but these were no ordinary fish. The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis is the southernmost subspecies of Cutthroat Trout, and as with the other subspecies, stream temperature regulates growth, reproductive success, distribution, and survival. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout once ranged over much of the upper Rio Grande basin in New Mexico and southern Colorado, according to Craig Springer, fisheries biologist for USFWS in Santa Fe. Many fish commonly display vibrant red coloration along their lower flanks and all RGCT possess a distinctive red-orange slash along their jawline. READ MORE more about Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s efforts to conserve Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Historically, RGCT occupied streams throughout the Rio Grande, Canadian, and Pecos river basins. Their beauty, tenacity, and willingness to eat just about anything have made them a very popular sportfish in New Mexico. They have a yellowish green-gray to gray body with scattered black spots, and a densely spotted tail. More information detailing future projects can be found in the Statewide Fisheries Management Plan. Brook trout can be caught at Cabresto Lake and the nearby streams. Historically, RGCT were found throughout the upper Pecos River basin, however, only 12 conservation populations of RGCT currently remain. Historic records indicate Texas may have had one indigenous salmonid, the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis). 5 years ago | 2 views. Greenback Cutthroat Trout. These fish produce offspring that are used to establish and maintain wild RGCT populations throughout New Mexico. Rio Hondo: Stream flow Monday morning near Valdez was 25.7 cfs. My dad and I caught quite a few of them up there, but that was many years ago. Fishing for trout was fair using small attractor dry flies. The hatchery raises cutthroat at low densities to ensure their survival and best obtainable health. 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