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Stocking Rivers with Trout

A person holding a trout with two hands

About this Inquiry

This inquiry looks at fish farming and the management of trout by state environmental resource specialists in Colorado. Fishing is a pastime enjoyed by many in Colorado and is also a driver of tourism and related economic benefits. The state of Colorado stocks certain rivers and streams with different species of trout during the year to make sure the rivers have trout for anglers to catch. Scientists working with the state need to know what conditions the trout will best thrive in. In this inquiry, students practice working with data generated from a statewide citizen science project called River Watch of Colorado to analyze where appropriate conditions for trout stocking might be.

Instructional Days

3 days

Learning Goals

  • Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including mean, median, mode, and variability) to locate suitable sites for stocking brown trout in Colorado waterways.
  • Construct a written argument based on data and evidence from River Watch of Colorado about the best locations for stocking brown trout in Colorado waterways.
Trout stocking map, Colorado

Type of Analysis

  • Mapping – Symbology
  • Mapping – Filtering Data by Area
  • Mapping – Spatial Analysis

About this Citizen Science Project:

River Watch of Colorado is a statewide volunteer water quality monitoring program operated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Their mission is to work with volunteer stewards to monitor water quality and other indicators of watershed health and utilize this high-quality data to educate citizens and inform decision makers about the condition of Colorado’s waters. This program is unique in its statewide focus and frequency of data collection.

View this project’s data on FieldScope.