GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX)–The Colorado Pikeminnow, Razorback Sucker, and the Bonytail Chub are all native Colorado fish species–and all of them are endangered. The Humpback Chub was also on this list, but in October of last year, the Humpback Chub was officially downgraded to “threatened” by federal officials. While this is great news, there is still a lot of work to be done to protect these fish.
Of course they’re not the only fish we should be worried about. Cold water fish are being forced upstream towards the Colorado River headwaters due to the rising water temperatures. This is dwindling their habitat significantly. “A lot of the modelers in our profession suggest that with increasing air temperature, we’re gonna see the cold water species end up losing more of their habitat” says Travis Francis, U.S Fish and Wildlife’s Deputy Project Manager of the Grand Junction office.
Luckily these fish are not at risk because of over-fishing, but anglers can still help to sustain the local fish populations. One tip Travis Francis has for you: if you do come across one of these endangered fish, get a picture, brag to your friends, and safely put the fish back. Anglers can also head to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website to see if there are any fishing closures at your fishing spot. If there is, maybe find a new one so we can ensure these fish continue fighting their way back from the endangered list.