GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Colorado Parks and Wildlife will stock several thousand large, whirling disease-resistant Hofer rainbow trout into a section of the Colorado River where a large, natural fish kill occurred earlier this year.
Wildlife managers began stocking Oct. 9 between Dotsero and the Cottonwood boat ramp.
After a heavy downpour in July, a large amount of silt and debris was washed into the Colorado River below Dotsero and through Glenwood Canyon, eventually killing several thousand fish in this section.
"We have received recent reports from anglers that fishing has been unproductive and trout seem to have declined since the fish kill," aquatic biologist Kendall Bakich said. "Stocking these Hofer rainbows will not only replenish the population, it will establish a whirling disease-resistant fish that anglers can enjoy into the future."
Whirling disease, a serious physical condition in some species of trout and salmon, is caused by a parasite found in the water. Infected young trout often develop deformities of the skull and spinal column. In some areas of Colorado, most of the young wild rainbow trout die just months after infection.
"The fish kill in July was unfortunate, but it has provided an opportunity to stock this disease-resistant strain," said Perry Will, area wildlife manager in Glenwood Springs. "Anglers fishing in this section of the Colorado River will certainly benefit from this effort."
Hofer rainbow trout have developed a resistance to the parasite.
For more information, go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/Management/Pages/WhirlingDisease.aspx