(CBS4) – Employees of Colorado Parks and Wildlife are using planes to bring fish to hundreds of alpine lakes in the northern half of the state. On Thursday they dropped 70,000 fish from the air into lakes in the following counties: Grand, Boulder, Jackson and Larimer.

(credit: Jason Clay/CPW)

“We can get a large quantity of fish into high mountain lakes that are basically only accessible by foot or horseback,” said fish culturist Doug Sebring in a CPW news release.

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Cutthroat trout and golden trout are released out of the plane when it is about 100 to 150 feet above the lake, then they just float down into the water.

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“They are so small and they don’t have a lot of mass to them, so their acceleration rate is pretty low. Their heads are the heaviest parts, so they tend to go head first and drop straight into the water,” CPW wildlife pilot Larry Gepfert said.

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A total of 330 lakes will be getting the fish this year. Next year the operation will continue and will focus on the southern half of the state.