Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Restoration

 

An important focus of the Truchas Chapter is the preservation of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (or RGCT). The chapter works closely with state and federal agencies to identify, protect, and expand the few remaining populations of New Mexico's native trout. Efforts include stream restoration and the construction of stream barriers to block the invasion of non native fish.

 

The Truchas Chapter established the Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (RGCT) RestorationFund in 2005 (?) to protect few remaining genetically pure populations of RGCT in the state of New Mexico and help support efforts to restore pure RGCT populations to areas of its former range. As of this writing, there are no more than 20 such populations, and some of these are already compromised by the presence of invasive Eastern Brook and Brown Trout, which have a reproductive advantage which allow them to displace RGCT. If Rainbow Trout gain access to these populations, they interbreed and destroy the unique genetic integrity of the RGCT which evolved to survive in these waters and actually do better there than other species if allowed to remain genetically intact. Monies from the fund are used in combination with grants and monies from many other sources to fund various RGCT restoration projects in northern New Mexico. The Chapter continues to work closely with New Mexico Game & Fish (NMGF), United States Forest Service staff to identify opportunities to further protect and expand RGCT populations.