Deep Trouble for New Mexico’s State Fish

In *All, Livestock by Ag is America

New Mexico’s state fish, the cutthroat trout, is in trouble, as their habitat is being taken over by invasive species, the brown trout. Lauren Flynn, a New Mexico State University graduate student in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, is conducting research to find what can be done to preserve Rio Grande cutthroat trout populations. She predicts that warmer stream temperatures and brown trout will negatively impact Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Even though warm temperatures should help the cutthroat trout survive, the competition for food makes it hard for both species to live comfortably.

Flynn and her team of researchers began studying the fish, by capturing it and tagging it. Next, they measured its length, weight, and diet. After recording observations and measurements, they released the fish back into the stream. Depending on what Flynn finds, the results of this project could help the populations that are most affected by the brown trout.

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