Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout
Please note: Fishing is not currently available in upper Sand Creek Basin. In 2020, non-native fish were removed from Sand Creek Lakes and upper portions of Sand Creek. During summer 2021, scientists will continue to test for any remaining exotic fish in Sand Creek Lakes, Sand Creek, and tributary creeks. If the drainage is clear of fish, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout are planned for reintroduction in fall 2021.
Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout are catch and release only; they are on the candidate list for threatened/endangered species at the federal level. The US Fish and Wildlife Service determined in 2009 that while there is sufficient evidence to support federal listing, the listing is currently precluded due to higher priorities. These trout are currently on the Colorado state list as a Species of Special Concern.
Fishing Guide to Great Sand Dunes and Vicinity (.pdf, 211 kb)
Rio Grande Sucker
The Rio Grande sucker (Catostomus plebeius) is an endangered species in Colorado. These small fish have been reintroduced to forested sections of Medano Creek, and their population is still being monitored.
Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) live in Big Spring Creek and Indian Spring, west of the main dunefield.
Last updated: March 3, 2021