TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are reintroducing native cutthroat trout to a part of the San Juan Mountains where they once lived.

Last week state biologists took more than 250 native cutthroat trout that had been captured on the Uncompahgre Plateau and stocked them in Woods Lake southwest of Telluride.

Wildlife officials hope the trout will thrive and avoid a listing as an endangered species.

Parks and Wildlife aquatic researcher Dan Kowalski says the area was once populated with native trout, but they haven’t been present for decades. Wildlife officials say habitat loss, water quality conditions and the introduction of non-native fish have contributed to the elimination of cutthroat trout in many western Colorado rivers and streams.

Another cutthroat restoration project is ongoing near Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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