New film highlights Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s native fish conservation |

New film highlights Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s native fish conservation

A Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic researcher holds a Bluehead Sucker, one of the three native fish species CPW is working to conserve in the Colorado River Basin.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Courtesy photo

A documentary titled “The Native 3” tells the story of aquatic research scientists on Colorado’s Western Slope working to protect three native fish species. The 12-minute video, released Friday on Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Youtube and Facebook pages, focuses on the preservation of roundtail chubs, flannelmouth suckers and bluehead suckers.

The fish have critical roles in stream ecosystems— they transport nutrients. They represent part of a small native fish population in the Colorado River. They migrate upstream to spawn in the spring, and some suckers have traveled over 500 miles on their journeys.

“The Native 3” follows researcher Zachary Hooley-Underwood’s project that protects tributary-spawning native suckers from hybridization with non-native suckers through mechanical exclusion. Hooley-Underwood’s method could be used to protect native fish in other streams as well.

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