Fishery Conservation in the Great Sand Dunes National Park

July 31, 2017


Our Ranchlands intern, Brandon Sickel, had the opportunity to join the national park service last week as they worked to relocate hundreds of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout.

“Fisheries conservation in action with some cool folks from Great Sand Dunes National ParkĀ // Medano ditch, which diverts high mountain water from Medano Creek to the Wolf Springs Ranch, is closed off in the summer when their water right ends, trapping hundreds of these beautiful Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in the ditch, and every year, somebody’s got to rescue them. Kevin, a fisheries biologist from Trout Unlimited mans the electrofisher, which sends pulses of direct current electricity through the water and induces galvanotaxis, causing uncontrolled muscular movements in the trout that lead them to swim towards the anode, where we can easily scoop them up, collect some data, and put em back with their homies in the crystal clear, free-flowing mountain water of the creek.”

– Brandon Sickel, Zapata Ranch intern.