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Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick

​​​​Aquatic Research Scientist, Eastern Plains Native Fishes

Aquatic research scientist Ryan Fitzpatrick with fishing net.

Contact Information

Aquatic Research Group

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

317 West Prospect Road

Fort Collins, CO 80526

Phone: (970) 472-4336



  • ​Ph.D. Candidate, Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology – Colorado State University, Present

  • M.S., Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology – Colorado State University, 2008

  • B.S., Finance and Management – Iowa State University, 2000​

Areas of Interest/Expertise

My primary research examines plains fish ecology, native species conservation, anthropogenic impacts to streams, fish movement, and otolith microchemistry. However, I am also involved in projects dealing with optimal sampling protocols, endocrine disrupting compounds, irrigation recharge, and fish passage.​

Current or Recent Positions

  • ​Aquatic Research Scientist, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 2011-Present

  • Aquatic Conservation Biologist, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2007-2011

  • Aquatic Technician, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2006

  • Research Associate, Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 2004-2008

  • Aquatic Technician, Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 2003-2004

Current or Recent Research Projects

  • ​Anthropogenic impacts affect probability of persistence for eastern plains native fishes in Colorado

  • Flathead chub (Platygobio gracilis) movement in Fountain Creek, Colorado

  • Spatial and optimal monitoring for plains fishes in Colorado

  • Endocrine disrupting compounds impact on Colorado’s eastern plains native fishes

  • Improving rock ramp fishways for small-bodies plains fishes

  • Training of hatchery reared fish to enhance antipredator behavior and increase  survival

Selected Publications

  • ​Bestgen, K. R., H. J. Crockett, M. Haworth, and R. M. Fitzpatrick. 2016. Production of non-adhesive eggs by flathead chub and implications for downstream transport and conservation. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.​

  • Broms, K. M., M. B. Hooten, and R. M. Fitzpatrick. 2016. Model selection and assessment for multi-species occupancy models. Ecology.

  • Gibson-Reinemer, D. K., F. J. Rahel, S. E. Albeke and R. M. Fitzpatrick. Submitted. Natural and anthropogenic barriers to climate tracking in river fishes along a mountain-plains transition zone. Diversity and Distributions.

  • Broms, K. M., M. B. Hooten, and R. M. Fitzpatrick. 2015. Accounting for imperfect detection in Hill numbers for biodiversity studies. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 6:99-108.

  • Walters, D. M., R. E. Zuellig, H. C. Crockett, J. F. Bruce, P. M. Lukacs, and R. M. Fitzpatrick. 2014. Barriers impede upstream spawning migration of flathead chub. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 143:17-25.

  • Fitzpatrick, R. M. 2008. Use of otolith elemental signatures in estimating sources of northern pike recruitment in the Yampa River, Colorado. Master’s thesis. Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University. Fort Collins, Colorado.​​