The landscape as we have known it for the Cutthroat trout in Colorado has changed forever. A new research report, published in Molecular Ecology and released Monday, has documented through DNA sequence data six divergent clades -- a subspecies having a single common ancestor. These fish populations roughly correspond to the major drainage basins in Colorado.
Orange Fish - Rio Grande cutthroat trout - (O.c. virginalis)
Purple Fish - Greenback cutthroat trout - (O.c. stomias)
Blue Fish - Colorado cutthroat trout - (O.c. Pleuriticus)
Green Fish - Currently Un-named (formally greenback)
Yellow Fish - Yellowfin cutthroat - (O.c. macdonaldi) EXTINCT
Red Fish - Currently Un-named (San Juan River drainage) EXTINCT
This groundbreaking research raised more questions than it answered:
- What do we call the Green Fish?
- How can the Colorado Cutthroat not be from the Colorado River?
- What do we do with all the Green Fish in Greenback waters?
- So since the entire known population of Greenback in the world is in a four mile section of Bear Creek, how do we protect them?
- Who do I get to re-caption all my fish pictures?