Finding a stream for Greenbacks

Photos: Tim Toohey, West Denver Chapter

By Jeff Florence

The small creek along Herman Gulch in the mountains west of Denver may not seem like much, and in some places it’s no more than two feet wide. But it’s still able to maintain a strong ecosystem that allows cutthroat trout to survive.

After much consideration by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, it was decided, based on monitoring data from the West Denver TU Chapter, the creek was a great spot to reintroduce native greenback cutthroat trout.

On September 11, the West Denver Chapter joined forces with The Greenbacks and Colorado Parks and Wildlife and set off to Herman Gulch to catch as many trout they could and transport them into Clear Creek. Volunteers split the stream into five sections with each section getting two buckets and four anglers. At the end of the day, the groups successfully caught and transported over 100 healthy trout into holding pens downstream.

Future plans from CPW include shocking and removing the remaining non-native trout before winter. Native greenback reintroduction is set to begin in early spring of 2016.

Jeff Florence is a communications specialist for Colorado Trout Unlimited.

By Brennan Sang.