• Photo of early morning clouds hanging low in the valley with mountains of the Continental Divide stretched out above. NPS Photo/Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado


There are seven native fish and four exotic fish that inhabit the aquatic system of Rocky Mountain National Park. Due to cold water temperatures and barriers to fish migration, it is probable that many of the waters within the park were originally fishless. However, the distribution of fish was not documented prior to 1923. As with most waters within Colorado, the stocking of native and non-native fish species to establish and maintain harvestable populations of trout probably started in the late 1800s and continued until 1968. The stocking of non-native fish was halted in 1975, but some of the lakes that were originally free of fish have maintained populations of native or exotic fish. One native fish, the greenback cutthroat trout, is federally listed as threatened and a long-range recovery program for it and the Colorado River cutthroat has been ongoing since 1975 in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fish Reported from Rocky Mountain National Park

Common Name

Scientific Name


Western longnose sucker

Catastomus catastomus griseus

Western white sucker

Catastomus commersoni suckii

Mountain sucker

Catostomus platyrhynchus

Mottled sculpin

Cottus bairdi punctulatus

Colorado speckled dace

Rhinichthys osculus

Greenback cutthroat trout

Oncorhynchus clarki stomias

NPS Photo

Colorado River cutthroat trout

Salmo clarki pleuriticus

Courtesy USFWS

Yellowstone cutthroat trout

Salmo clarki

Courtesy USFWS

Rainbow trout

Salmo gairdneri

Courtesy USFWS

Brown trout

Salmo trutta

Courtesy USFWS

Eastern brook trout

Salvelinus fontinalis

Courtesy USFWS

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