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1 million brown trout eggs collected for Colorado hatchery production

Hatcheries will rear the fish to about three inches before they're stocked out across Colorado in 2022.

FAIRPLAY, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has conducted its annual brown trout spawning operation in western Colorado.

Each fall, CPW collects the number of eggs necessary to meet the needs for Colorado's hatchery production, which helps augment natural reproduction in Colorado’s creeks, rivers and reservoirs.

This year, it took just three days for CPW to collect 1.1 million brown trout eggs at North Delaney Butte Lake and Antero Reservoir.  

The fertilized eggs will be sent to CPW’s Mt. Shavano Hatchery in Salida and its Poudre Rearing Hatchery in Larimer County. CPW said its hatcheries will rear the fish to a fingerling size, around three inches, before they're stocked out across Colorado in 2022.

> Above video: Fish stocked in Colorado lakes in 2021.

CPW said the brown trout fingerlings will get stocked back into both Antero Reservoir and North Delaney Butte Lake to ensure a strong brood stock population, but also into many other reservoirs and rivers across Colorado.

CPW stocks more than 700,000 brown trout annually.

Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Tyler Swarr, aquatic biologist for CPW, holds up a brown trout from Antero Reservoir on Wednesday, Oct. 6 when officials conducted the brown trout spawn there in South Park.

"Some of them will come back and be stocked into Antero and some will go to North Delaney as well, so we can come back in three or four years and still will have fish," said Tyler Swarr, aquatic biologist leading the brown trout spawning operation at Antero Reservoir. "The rest of them will get stocked out across the state."

CPW collected 227,026 brown trout eggs from 117 females on Wednesday, Oct. 6 and 888,574 eggs at North Delaney Butte Lake on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6.

Brown trout spawn in the wild occurs over the months of October and November.

"2021 was another good brown trout spawn year at North Delaney," said Kyle Battige, aquatic biologist leading the brown trout spawning operation there. "We saw many year classes present, handled over 1,500 brown trout in three days and I’m happy overall with the current condition of the brood lake."

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Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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