Colorado’s rarest fish: greenback cutthroats endure electro-zapping, netting and squeezing as biologists try to save state fish from extinction | SummitDaily.com

Colorado’s rarest fish: greenback cutthroats endure electro-zapping, netting and squeezing as biologists try to save state fish from extinction

Species recovery continues with release of fry into South Platte River basin after sport fish are killed from creeks

By Bruce Finley | bfinley@denverpost.com | The Denver Post

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JUNE 10: Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatics biologist Andrew Reed holds a genetically pure greenback cutthroat trout that was temporarily pulled out of Bear Creek for a conservation project June 10, 2017 in Denver.

BEAR CREEK — Some slippery, spotted greenback cutthroat trout — Colorado's long-lost and imperiled state fish — took a hit for their species Tuesday morning.

Not that the trout, lolling in a shady mountain creek southwest of Colorado Springs, had a choice.

They endured five Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists sloshing into their already-degraded habitat to collect genetic material – eggs and milt – as part of an unprecedented ecological rescue. CPW's Cory Noble lugged a 30-pound LR-24 Electrofisher strapped to his back, beeping like a backing-up beer truck, red light flashing, shooting electricity into the water. Cutthroats stunned by the electricity found themselves netted and then squeezed by CPW senior aquatic biologist Josh Nehring.

"It's a female," he said, grabbing one and massaging her pale-yellow belly with his thumb. "I got one egg out of her."

Read the full story on The Denver Post.