Rio Grande cutthroat trout. It now only occupies just 12 percent of its historic habitat in approximately 800 miles of streams. Native Trout Public Lands Youth Education River Surveys Chapters. Spots are medium to large, and become irregular as they approach the tail. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis, ​can be found in high elevation streams and lakes of the Rio Grande, Canadian, and Pecos River drainages in Colorado and New Mexico, giving it the southern-most distribution of any form of Cutthroat Trout. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout evolved in New Mexico as a member of a native fish assemblage that included the longnose dace, the Rio Grande chub and the Rio Grande sucker. Cutthroat trout were the first New World trout encountered by Europeans when in 1541, Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado recorded seeing trout in the Pecos River near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rio Grande cutthroat trout had a relatively low likelihood of infection, with populations in the southernmost Pecos management area predicted to be at greatest risk. Rio Grande Cutthroat Historically, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout occupied all cool waters in the Rio Grande drainage, including the Chama, Jemez and Rio San Jose drainages, along with suitable waters of the Pecos and Canadian drainages. Rio Grande cutthroat trout typically spawn between mid-May and mid-June. The first conservation agreement for Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout ​between state, federal, and tribal resource agencies was signed in 2003, and gave rise to the Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Conservation Team. The Mexican reports have been all but dismissed, but Garrett and Matlock (1991) provided evidence indicating that Rio Grande cutthroat were likely native to Texas. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife. As a result, pure populations of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout are restricted primarily to headwater streams.​. A Rio Grande cutthroat. The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis) historically occupied in various cool streams throughout the Rio Grande Watershed, including the Chama, Jemez Rio San Jose, the Pecos, and Canadian drainages. A multi-agency effort to restore it still can inspire anger and concern. Rio Grande Cutts are some of the most gorgeous trout in the world, bar none, with their flaming orange and red colors looking like something out of an artist’s dream. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis) is one of three recognized subspecies of native trout found in Colorado, and is the southernmost subspecies of cutthroat trout. Nestled in the rugged mountains of southwest Colorado lies a remote, privately owned ranch that shelters the pristine waters of Haypress Lake. It was early October and the Aspens were in full bloom. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout was once wide­ spread in the upper Rio Grande and Canadian River basins of northern New Mexico and south-central Colorado and in the headwaters of the Pecos River, 9. The effort is also being supported by Colorado Trout Unlimited and the New Mexico Council of Trout Unlimited. The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (RGCT) is a native sportfish that occurs in coldwater streams and lakes in the Canadian River, Pecos River, and Rio Grande basins in Colorado and New Mexico. Haypress Lake is the primary collection site for Rio Grande cutthroat eggs in Colorado and the offspring are restocked throughout the Rio Grande Basin. Biologists estimate that 127 conservation populations now exist in the two states, and 57 of those populations are considered to be secure. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout once ranged over much of the upper Rio Grande basin in New Mexico and southern Colorado, according to Craig Springer, fisheries biologist for USFWS in Santa Fe. Rio Grande cutthroats currently live on 700 miles of stream in the Santa Fe National Forest, which is approximately 91% of their historical range. However, due to the loss of populations across their native range and reports of Rio Grande cutthroat in Mexico and Texas, it is unclear how far south this trout once occurred. It looks like your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. Over the past century this subspecies has declined, primarily due to the effects of introduced trout species and habitat loss. (2006). The historic range of Rio Grande cutthroat trout has been reduced over the last 150 years due to many changes on the landscape, including: drought, water infrastructure, habitat changes, hybridization with nonnative Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout, and competition with Brook and Brown Trout. Video capture by Jerry Neal (CPW). Likely fished by the ancient Anasazi civilization, they were also the first trout to be identified in the New World by early explorers. Sagebrush & Sage Species Conservation Strategy. The Rio Grande Cutt will exhibit a yellowish gray-green to gray body with and an orange tint along the belly. Rio Grande cutthroat trout have irregular shaped spots that are concentrated behind the dorsal fin, smaller less numerous spots located primarily above the lateral line anterior to the dorsal fin, and basibranchial teeth that are minute or absent. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis), a member of the family Salmonidae, is found in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado in tributaries of the Rio Grande., They are also believed to be native to the Canadian Riverd- rainage of Colorado and New Mexico, but no early historic specimens or written accounts are available to verify this. Currents Newsletter High Country Angler Blog About Us. Connect with Colorado's Rio Grande and Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, two species that define the legacy and lore of the West. 4 - Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief - derives aesthetic, recreational, scientific, spiritual, educational and other benefits from the Trout’s existence in the wild. The subspecies currently occupies less than 12% of its historic range. A multi-agency effort to restore it still can inspire anger and concern. 2013 Conservation Agreement(12MB) ​and the ​2013 Conservation Strategy which outline long-term conservation objectives for this subspecies. Here are some amazing photos of a large Colorado cutthroat trout we caught on the South Fork Rio Grande River near South Fork, Colorado. In 2014 it was removed from candidacy as it was determined that listing was not warranted for this species.[4][6]. Today the southernmost known populations are found on the eastern flanks of the Gila Mountains in Southern New Mexico.[5]. Greenbacks trout tend to have larger spots and more scales in and above the lateral line. We were fishing the South Fork Rio Grand River, about 10 miles south of the town of South Fork, Colorado. In the continuing effort to restore native cutthroat trout to state waters, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the National Park Service are cooperating on a major project set for late summer in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. April 2006 version. Please turn on JavaScript and try again. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout (RGCT) is native to the Rio Grande, and Pecos and Canadian rivers of Colorado and New Mexico. Rio Grande cutthroat trout Greenback cutthroat trout: O. c. stomias (Cope, 1871) Native to the Arkansas and South Platte River headwaters on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado; it is designated as threatened (1978). The presence and abundance of native trout on the landscape helps maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem. Rio Grande cutthroat trout – a native subspecies of New Mexico – are as integral to the land’s history as its ecosystems. Finally, the Colorado River strain of Cutthroat Trout is native to the Western Slope of Colorado and is quite common in many high country fisheries and occasionally is caught in larger, lower … The Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis), a member of the family Salmonidae, is found in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado in tributaries of the Rio Grande.,[1][2], It is one of 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout native to the western United States, and is the state fish of New Mexico. "Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout: A Technical Conservation Assessment", "Species Profile Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout", "Rio Grande Cutthroat - Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis - Introduction", http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/rio-grande-cutthroat-trout-no-longer-an-endangered-species-candidate/, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rio_Grande_cutthroat_trout&oldid=988816281, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Rio Grande cutthroat trout from the Conejos watershed in southern Colorado, This page was last edited on 15 November 2020, at 12:12. Rio Grande cutthroat trout provide a unique angling experience and are popular with anglers. Locations Resources The Greenbacks Rendezvous Fall 2020 Events News & Media. Males are sexually mature at age two; females mature at age three. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (Provided by Colorado Fish and Wildlife) Rio Grande cutthroat trout: O. c. virginalis (Girard, 1856) Native to New Mexico and southern Colorado. Competition with non-native trout, coupled with habitat loss, now limits the imperiled native trout to … Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (RGCT) in Colorado and New Mexico as a collaborative and cooperative effort among resource agencies. Courtesy Andrew Todd Kevin Terry, a project coordinator for Colorado Trout Unlimited, holds up a Rio Grande cutthroat trout at Upper Sand Creek Lake. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout are native to the Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages of Colorado and New Mexico. Stream-dwelling cutthroat trout generally inhabit mid to high-elevation streams … The Rio Grande cutthroat was the first trout to be discovered in North America by Europeans and was first described in 1541 by Spaniards crossing the southwest in search of gold. Rio Grande Cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (RGCT) represents the most southern subspecies of cutthroat trout, endemic to Rio Grande, Canadian, and Pecos basins of New Mexico and southern Colorado. Rio Grande cutthroat have the distinction of being the southern most subspecies of cutthroat trout. However due to the loss of populations across th… They currently live in only about 100 headwater streams, occupying 10 percent of their former range. The stated goal of the agreement is to assure the "long-term viability of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout throughout its historic range by minimizing or removing threats to the species and promoting conservation." Four of these evolved in Colorado: the Colorado River cutthroat trout in drainages west of the continental divide, Greenback cutthroat trout in the South Platte and Arkansas River drainages, and the Rio Grande cutthroat trout in streams that drain into the San Luis Valley. The Mescalero Apache Tribe has partnered with U.S. Geological Survey-New Mexico Cooperative Fish … These were most likely Rio Grande cutthroat trout (O. c. virginalis)[3]. Map Information » Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do » More Activities & Information » Where is Rio Grande Area Fishing Map » Click Areas on Map for More Fishing Information. Rio Grande Cutthroats can be found in the drainages of the San Luis Valley. Rio Grande cutthroat trout are not only New Mexico’s state fish, they are also native only to northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. They live an average of five years, but in rare cases, may survive into their teens. The multi-agency project to restore the native species has been years in … Rio Grande cutthroat feed opportunistically on aquatic insects and terrestrial insects that fall into the water. [4], Rio Grande cutthroat have the distinction of being the southernmost subspecies of cutthroat trout. The project is part of a long-planned strategy to restore the native Rio Grande cutthroat trout to waters where its numbers have dwindled toward the edge of extinction. The Rio Grand cutthroat trout has dwindled in its native habitat. Range and GMUs of the RGCT RGCT Rangewide Database 2013 Rio Grande cutthroat trout are light rose to red-orange on the sides and pink or yellow-orange on the belly. This beautiful trout is considered a minor subspecies of the Yellowstone cutthroat and is native to the Rio Grande, Canadian and Pecos River drainages of New Mexico and Colorado. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout was a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act from 2008 to 2014. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout has dwindled in its native habitat. Kill fish to save fish: Behind Colorado’s effort to revive the Rio Grande cutthroat trout. While the universe of cutthroat trout subspecies is always evolving with new genetic research, most scientists recognize at least 10 distinct subspecies within western U.S. (link to https://westernnativetrout.org) In Colorado, there are at least three subspecies, including the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (native to the San Luis Valley), the Greenback cutthroat trout (native to the South … ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis, ​can be found in high elevation streams and lakes of the Rio Grande, Canadian, and Pecos River drainages in Colorado and New Mexico, giving it the southern-most distribution of any form of Cutthroat Trout. They are also rare, occupying only about 10% of their original habitat that actually extended into Texas at one point. the habitat of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout in Colorado and New Mexico. Colorado Fishing Rio Grande Area Fishing Map . "Oncorhynchus clarki" in FishBase. 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