Mules Carry Thousands of Rare Cutthroat Trout to Rejuvenation
Animals like to help out other animals here in Colorado. Look at these mules carry thousands and thousands of super rare cutthroat trout to their new home in Cottonwood Creek.
During the Hayden Pass wildfire in 2016, only 158 cutthroat trout were rescued. The wildfire left no survivors. These surviving super rare cutthroat trout were taken to the Roaring Judy Hatchery isolation facility. Since then, those cutties have spawned, making a lot of tiny little trout babies.
The Hayden Creek cutties are so important because they are the only fish known to share the same genetics as these trout in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. According to Vail Daily, David Starr Jordan collected trout specimens near Twin Lakes in 1889, and that's right, they share the same genetics as these little guys.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Trout Unlimted were determined to give the Hayden Creek cutties a future. So they packed up their four mules with 2,000 Hayden Creek cutthroat trout on each mule and made their way miles and miles up a steep trail. The trout are now in their new home in Cottonwood Creek near Westcliffe.
With the help of CPW, the U.S. Forest Service and lots of volunteers from Colorado Trout unlimited, these cutties now have a better chance at survival. The next move for these super rare Hayden Pass cutthroat trout -- getting them in the Arkansas Basin.