It must be spring: Parks and Wildlife is stocking fish all over Colorado — cutthroats above Aspen


From The Aspen Times (Janet Urquhart):

The agency’s 2012 stocking schedule calls for the addition of 260,500 fish to Ruedi Reservoir east of Basalt, but most are of the “sub-catchable” variety — they’re only a few inches long. The Ruedi total includes 11,000 3-inch rainbows that were scheduled for stocking in April; 200,000 2-inch kokanee salmon to be stocked this month, 28,000 5-inch lake trout to be added to the reservoir throughout the summer and 31,500 10-inch rainbows, also to be stocked in batches through early August. The lake at Chapman Campground in the upper Fryingpan Valley will see the introduction of 1,500 10-inch trout over the course of the summer, according to the schedule. “The 10-inch fish is our typical stocker,” said Mike Porras, Parks and Wildlife spokesman. “We stock them in areas where fishing is a little more popular.” It’s the expectation that those fish will be kept when they’re caught.

In addition to the 10-inchers are the unexpected lunkers — brood fish that have been reared in state hatcheries specifically for egg production rather than introduction into lakes and streams. They’re typically big fish, and some will be culled from hatchery populations and added to popular fishing waters. Maroon Lake near Aspen, for example, has been the occasional repository of brood fish in past seasons. This year’s schedule calls for putting only 2-inch cutthroats (25,000 of them) in the lake, but that doesn’t mean some brood fish won’t find their way there.

The agency’s stocking strategy, however, is about more than emptying a tank of hungry trout into the water for eager anglers to take back out. “It’s much more complex than, we want people to catch fish and enjoy them,” Porras said.

In addition to the plans for Ruedi and Maroon Lake, roughly 100,000 fish are scheduled to be stocked in other high-mountain lakes and streams this summer, in quantities that range from 100 fish to 1,000 or several thousand.

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