Trout in the Community is a unique PPCTU creation to engage and inform the public about the life cycle of trout. In 2015 Allyn Kratz, Rick Luce and I collected content on the life cycle of our local Bear Creek Greenback Cutthroat Trout. Through out the year we visited Bear Creek, CPW’s Salida Hatchery, the Leadville National Fish Hatchery, and Zimmerman Lake to follow a year in the life of the greenbacks. From our Journeys we have a created a story of the life cycle of the greenback at the Angler’s Covey fly shop here in Colorado Springs. The display consists of an aquarium where every year trout are raised from eggs so visitors can watch them grow from eggs to alvin, to fry then parr. Two stream bottom displays have been created to show the effects of sedimentation that challenge the very existence of the Bear Creek Greenback Cutthroat. The first shows what a healthy stream bottom looks like where there are nooks and crannies between the stream cobble for both food and young trout can hide. The second shows an all too common scenario where the Bear Creek stream bottom is covered with the Pike’s Peak Granite sediment.
In this case the granite sediment provides no hiding places. On the wall about the aquarium and stream bottom displays are a set of photographs that we have taken of our greenbacks as we have followed them through their life cycle. The photographs highlight the both the good and the bad that these trout have to endure to survive Bear Creek and to ensure their unique genetics that make them the Colorado State fish can be propagated back into the head water streams of the South Platte Basin.
In 2017 PPCTU is working with our Partners at El Paso County’s Bear Creek Nature Center to design and build an interactive Trout in the Community. This display will be inside Bear Creek Nature Center and will combine the work at Anglers Covey with new content we collect during 2016, and integrates in the Greenback Cutthroat Life Cycle Game. The goal of this display is to reach and inform the many thousands of youngsters who visit Bear Creek Nature every year. You can help PPCTU achieve this goal by participating in our Bear Creek Greenback Challenge.