What We Do
To meet the trout production demands, Leadville National Fish Hatchery facilities include 16 raceways and 20 nursery tanks. Leadville National Fish Hatchery is currently rearing greenback cutthroat trout, Hayden Creek cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout to fill needs throughout Colorado. These fish help to replenish and encourage sustainable trout populations and provide angling opportunities for recreational users like you.
Management and Conservation
As the aquatic habitat changes from natural (drought, flood, habitat destruction) or human influences (over-harvest, pollution, habitat loss due to development and dam construction), the natural production of fish declines. The stocking of fish is one of the many management strategies used by biologists to help replenish the populations for years to come. In recent years, Leadville National Fish Hatchery has provided between 125,000 and 200,000 fish annually to support fishing in the Fryingpan-Arkansas drainage and throughout Colorado.
Leadville's efforts also support recovery of the four endangered fishes in the Colorado River. To meet the trout production demands, Leadville National Fish Hatchery facilities include 16 raceways and 20 nursery tanks. Over 55,000 angler days of recreational fishing in Colorado valued at over $2,740,000 are a result of the stocking efforts.
Our Projects and Research
Currently the Hatchery has the primary brood stock for the state fish of Colorado, the Bear Creek greenback cutthroat. Bear Creek is the sole remaining wild population of greenback cutthroat trout that genetically match South Platte drainage museum specimens from the late 1800’s. Progeny from the captive broodfish held at Leadville National Fish Hatchery will be used to establish additional populations of this extremely rare fish.
The hatchery is also one of only a four facilities in the nation raising the endangered Wyoming toad. Tadpoles are received annually from afacility and raised to adulthood for an annual release into their native habitat in southern Wyoming. Leadville is unique for a toad rearing facility; because of the small, isolated population at the facility we are able to perform research projects that are not feasible at the larger broodstock facilities.