Fish are Friends not Food

This season I will be taking on an interpretation project focused on fish species and fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Within the park you can find Brown, Rainbow, Brook, Lake, and various types of Cutthroat Trout. There has been a lot of confusion in the past due to the diversity of Cutthroat trout found in this part of Colorado. An overwhelming variation of genetics was discovered in 2012 through genetic testing which led to more questions about native drainages and why some fish ended up far away from their native streams. It is believed that previous fish stocking and hybridization have rearranged the populations of fish in many waters. The Greenback Cutthroat trout is one of the species that was of concern because it is currently threatened and it is also the Colorado State Fish.

With such endless fishing opportunities in the park and extensive restrictions on waters, visitors often have questions that may be difficult to answer. I will be gathering information from researchers in order to develop an informational interpretive program that will inform visitors and anglers about the regulations in the park. I aim to facilitate the experience of visitors who are interested in fishing but may lack the knowledge of regulations to successfully enjoy our public waters.

Growing up fishing in my home state of California, I have a deep passion and appreciation for fishing. My parents got me hooked on fishing when I was about 5 years old and I have been going to the water ever since. In my project I will incorporate kid’s activities and the Junior ranger fishing badge to promote conservation and hopefully spark an interest in kids about fishing. I will also provide hands-on instructions on how to safely land and release a fish. I feel very lucky to have been introduced to this awesome way of connecting with our environment, and I wish to share my love for nature with future generations!

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