VIDEO: How Fish Are Stocked in Colorado’s Mountain Lakes
We know that airplanes have been critical in fighting the Cameron Peak fire, but what if water wasn’t the only thing Colorado planes are airdropping? Yep, it turns out that we don’t just tote water up to alpine areas, but fish as well.
According to a video shared by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the organization is stocking 330 lakes in Colorado, which are primarily located in mountainous regions that are only accessible by foot or horseback.
“It’s efficient,” said Doug Sebring, a fish culturist at Mt. Shavano Hatchery. “So, the biologists sample the lakes, they go in and see what kind of populations are in the lake… [They] determine public use... how big the lake is, and how many fish they want to put in there. Then they send those requests out to us at the hatchery.”
Hatcheries like the one Doug works at obtaining eggs from wild-spawned fish, brought to them by professional biologists, so as not to disrupt the ecosystem with foreign species. They then raise the eggs and airlift the creatures back to their native lakes when they’re 1.25 inches long.
After that, it takes transplanted fish about 1.5-2 years to grow to maturity, at which point they’ll be about 10 inches long. The cutthroat trout in the tweet below, shared by CPW, was an over-achiever, growing to a full 19 inches.
If you’d like to see the full, 10-minute video of the process, you can check it out here: