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Aquatic Research Projects
Aquatic Research Projects
​​CPW Aquatic Research Scientists currently research:

Trout with whirling diseaseWhirling Disease 

Whirling disease is believed to be a major factor in the declines of wild rainbow trout populations across Colorado waters. Many North American native salmonid species have little to no resistance to this parasitic infection. 

Thus, CPW is focusing research efforts on breeding whirling disease resistant rainbow trout strains, optimizing these strains for production in state hatcheries and for survival in the wild, and developing and managing wild brood stocks of whirling disease resistant strains. 

Learn more about whirling disease

Whirling Disease Research Projects:

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2 images of sport fish Lake and Reservoir Ecology

CPW Lake and Reservoir research scientists devote themselves to understanding and improving fisheries throughout the state. 

Their research focuses on food web structures, lake and reservoir characteristics, understanding and managing prey bases, growth and condition of sport fish and how sport fish interact with each other. 

Research scientists use a combination of new and long-standing techniques to address issues facing sport fisheries in Colorado.

Lake and Reservoir Ecology Research Projects:

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​​​Researchers survey fish in South Canal

Stream and River Ecology

Colorado's streams and rivers provide anglers excellent sport fishing opportunities. In order to protect these fisheries, CPW is dedicated to researching ways in which to improve habitat, food supply and survival of the fish that call Colorado's rivers and streams home.

Stream and River Ecology Projects:

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A fish passage Stream Habitat Investigations

As human development expands and climate changes alter the landscape, maintaining high quality fish habitat remains vital. 

Stream and Fisheries Habitat researchers restore degraded stream habitat on rivers across the state and evaluate the impact of habitat change on Colorado sport fish.

Stream Habitat Investigations Research Projects:

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Researcher holds a large fish

Western Slope Native Fish Species

Western slope native fish research focuses on three species: flannelmouth sucker, bluehead sucker and roundtail chub. 

Each of these species is estimated to occupy only 45-55 percent of its historic native range in the upper Colorado River basin and all three show downward population trends. 

Thus, research aims to enhance these species' current range and minimize the probability of listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Western Slope Native Species Research Projects:

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Flathead chub Plains Fish

The eastern plains streams of Colorado are home to the highest fish species diversity in the state, which historically consisted of 36 native species. Unfortunately, six species have been extirpated, and 12 more are currently listed as special status by the State of Colorado. These species are part of our state’s natural history, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is tasked with conserving them. 

Plains Fish Research Projects:

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