Fisheries are the aquatic organisms and habitats that encompass species of either conservation or economic concern, and scientists at the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) have multiple projects investigating the status and trends of fisheries, primarily in the western United States. As writer Norman Maclean once wrote, "Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it." The scientists at FORT study the "river(s) that run through it," and the inhabitants of said rivers in an effort to preserve them and retain the natural balance of these delicate ecosystems.
| An endangered Humpback Chub
The four main categories of fisheries investigations at FORT include conservation and management; fish in ecosystems; fish, food webs and exposure; and fish and climate change. The research for these studies encompasses field studies, lab experiments, landscape scale modeling, and the use of cutting edge analytical chemistry; information from these studies is used by to Federal and state agencies for management applications.
FORT scientists work with many species including some listed at the Federal (Endangered Species Act) or State level as species of conservation concern (e.g., threatened or endangered). These species include the Humpback Chub, Razorback Sucker, Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, Greenback Cutthroat Trout and the Colorado Pikeminnow. These species are imperiled owing to various combinations of land use changes, habitat loss and fragmentation, altered hydrology, climate change and non-native species. To read more about the fisheries studies taking place at FORT, please click on the links in the gray box to the right entitled, "Also at FORT."