Colorado Native Trout And Where To Find Them

Dated: 07/23/2017

Views: 1250

Image title

Colorado fish nativeCutthroat Trout

the greenback subspecies named official state fish of Colorado in 1994

The Cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki) deserves to be state fish, as it is the only trout that is native (indigenous) to Colorado. It has a crimson slash on either side of the throat, below the lower jaw. Most cutthroat are not found in their original range due to competition from the non-natives, over-fishing, and habitat loss. The subspecies found in Colorado include the Greenback, the Rio Grande, the Colorado River, and the Snake River (a non-native). The Greenback is a threatened species on both a state and federal level. More about the Greenback.

greenbackCourtesy Colorado Division of Wildlife

riograndeA Rio Grande cutthroat rising to a grasshopper, by F.D. Hostetler

Where to find them: Turquoise and Twin Lakes, Clear Creek, Spinney Mtn, Taylor,Elevenmile Reservoirs, Lake John, Delaney Buttes lakes, Trappers Lake (the largest population of native Colorado River cutthroat trout in the world), South Platte River. Snake River Cutts have been introduced into a host of mountain streams and lakes.

The Cutthroat


Rainbow Trout

the main fish stocked in Colorado

rainbow trout coloradoCourtesy Colorado Division of Wildlife

The Rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss) was introduced to Colorado in the 1880's. It is identified by a reddish stripe running down the side of the fish, and by black spots. It was introduced in 1888 into the Gunnison River. They are native to the U.S., but not to Colorado. They spawn in the Spring.

Record: The Colorado record for catching a Rainbow was in 2003 in Morrow Point Reservoir. The fish weighed 19 lbs, 10 oz.

Some fishing spots for Rainbow: almost anywhere -Arkansas, Conejos, Blue, Fryingpan, Gunnison, Taylor, Dolores, Big Thompson, South Platte, Rio Grande Rivers. Steamboat Lake, South Delaney Butte Lake, Turquoise and Twin Lakes. Taylor, Spinney Mtn, Elevenmile, Clear Creek, Road Canyon, Rifle Gap, and Stagecoach Reservoirs.

The Rainbow

Brown Trout  

abundant throughout Coloradobrown trout colorado

Credit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Brown (Salmo trutta) was introduced to Colorado in 1890, and is native to Europe and Western Asia. It's identifying marks are black spots, and reddish orange spots inside of light blue circles. They spawn in the fall.

Record: The record Brown caught in Colorado was in 1988, 30 lbs, 8 oz., caught at Roaring Judy Ponds.

Where to go:  Elevenmile, Taylor, Spinney Mtn, Beaver Creek, and Clear Creek Reservoirs; Turquoise Lake, Twin Lake, N. Delaney Buttes lakes; Arkansas, Conejos, Rio Grande, Blue, Gunnison, Taylor, Cache la Poudre, South Platte, Dolores, Big Thompson and numerous other rivers.

The German Brown

Brook Trout  

a very prolific fishbrookieCredit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

brookie2Courtesy Colorado Division of Wildlife

The "brookie" (Salvelinus fontinalis) can basically outbreed the other species of fish, helped by its fall spawning. They were introduced to Colorado in 1872, and are native to Canada and the Eastern U.S. Their body is dark, with red and white spots within bluish circles. The pectoral, pelvic and anal fins can be orange, with black and white edges.

Record: The record Brook caught in Colorado was in 1947, weighing 7 lbs, 10 oz. at Upper Cataract Lake.

Where to find them: North Platte River, Road Canyon Reservoir, East Delaney Butte Lake, S. Boulder Creek; almost all high-mountain lakes, streams, and beaver ponds

The Brookie


If you like Colorado History, don't forget to visit my Denver history page on Facebook 

Please Like Our Page :)

1. Source Material;    http://www.coloradofishing.net/species.htm

2. Original Artwork;   http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15330coll22/id/85606/rec/8


Blog author image

J Steven Opp

J Steven is a proud native Coloradoan born and raised here in Denver. His love for this city is reflected with his Denver history page on Facebook “Old Images of Denver”. Steve serving in the Colo....

Latest Blog Posts

Denver Real Estate Market Trends

Denver’s 2017 Real Estate OutlookWhat—if anything—could slow down the Mile High City’s white-hot housing market this year? By Rebecca L. Olgeirson | January 24, 20175280.comReal EstateAfter

Read More

Brew Beer With Snow In ColoRADo

So, what’s more Colorado than a holy beer? Snow’s pretty Colorado (not really in Denver this year, but that’s a different story). And sure, you could argue that most beer in Colorado is made

Read More

Gaylord Rockies Hotel BizJournals

After an aggressive construction schedule involving some 1,300 temporary construction workers, builders of the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora say they are 70 percent complete

Read More

Concept Documents Filed For A Super Skyscraper

Super skyscraper in downtown Denver? Developer files concept documents for 81-story tower (Video)A early rendering of Six Fifty 17 posted last fall.GREENWICH REALTY CAPITALByMark Harden –;

Read More