Here at HCCA we’re passionate about supporting our native fish populations, including the Colorado Cutthroat. In recent decades cutthroat populations in Colorado have been dramatically reduced by mining, logging, road construction, introduction of other fish species, loss of habitat due to dewatering, and hybridization with other forms of cutthroat trout.
Schaefer Creek in the North Fork of the Gunnison is home to a 96% genetically pure native Colorado Cutthroat population. Because this population is more than 90% genetically pure it is considered a Conservation Population. Indeed, the United States Forest Service has noted that the Schaefer Creek population is of “greatest conservation significance” in the Gunnison Uncompahgre National Forest.
Last January the USFS submitted a proposal encouraging the CWCB to appropriate an instream flow on Schaefer Creek to protect this population. HCCA has joined the state hearing process in support of the proposal. For more information on what HCCA is doing to help protect these crucial fisheries follow our posts on instream flows.