The beautiful and vibrant cutthroat trout gets its name from the red slash under its jaw. The cutthroat's medley of colors and spots make it one of the most cherished fish among Colorado anglers. Colorado is home to three subspecies of native cutthroat: the Rio Grande, Colorado River and the renowned greenback, which was designated Colorado's state fish in 1994. But, despite its iconic stature, the plight of the cutthroat has been both challenging and uncertain. For decades, cutthroat trout populations have declined throughout the western United States.
Working with a consortium of state and federal wildlife agencies, Trout Unlimited and other conservation groups, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has developed an aggressive conservation strategy to help restore native cutthroat populations. A key component of cutthroat conservation is egg-collection, hatchery and stocking programs. In 2015, we stocked 1.6 million cutthroat trout into more than 400 lakes, rivers and streams throughout the state. Fishery biologists are hopeful that continued stocking will bolster Colorado's cutthroat populations and ensure their sustainability.