Michael Hadley with the Utah Division of Widlife Resources sent in this report about annual cutthroat trout spawning projects held each year in Southern Utah. Here is his report.
Biologists recently conducted spawning operations at three lakes in southern Utah. This effort will help preserve and restore native cutthroat trout in the southern part of the state.
Biologists began the operation by collecting eggs from spawning Bonneville cutthroat trout at Manning Meadow Reservoir on Monroe Mountain. They also collected eggs from Colorado River cutthroat trout at Dougherty Basin Lake on Boulder Mountain and Kolob Reservoir near Zion National Park.
After being fertilized at the lakes, the eggs were taken to the Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery where they will stay until the "eye-up" stage, which usually takes two to three weeks. Then the eggs will be transferred to other hatcheries where they will be hatched and the fry raised until the fish are ready to be stocked in lakes and streams all over southern Utah.
Most of the fish will be stocked this fall when they are two to three inches long. The rest of the fish will be stocked in spring 2013 when they are six to seven inches long. These "wild" brood populations in Manning Meadow, Dougherty Basin and Kolob are a vital part of Utah's native cutthroat trout program.