Fish have literally been falling from the sky this summer in northern Colorado.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), 380,000 cutthroat trout were stocked in more than 300 mountain lakes via airplanes in several counties across the state, including Boulder, Grand, Jackson, and Larimer.
“It’s efficient,” Fish Culturist Doug Sebring said. “We can get a large quantity of fish into high mountain lakes that are basically only accessible by foot or horseback.”
CPW took to Twitter sharing a series of tweets regarding the aerial fish dump, which reassured viewers "the survival rate of the fish is 99%."
Officials say the fish are dropped from airplanes at about 100-150 feet above lakes. During the stocking, the fish are very small measuring in at about 1¼-inches. Within 1.5 to 2 years, they can grow up to 10 inches long.
The fish are stocked when they are 1 1/4 inches long. It will take 1.5-2 years before they grow to 10 inches in these alpine lakes.— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) September 18, 2020
This gorgeous 19-inch, 3.5-pound cutthroat trout is one of the graduates of our aerial stocking program. pic.twitter.com/nJBxXYzmPW
“They are so small and they don’t have a lot of mass to them, so their acceleration rate is pretty low,” CPW wildlife pilots Larry Gepfert said. “Their heads are the heaviest parts, so they tend to go head first and drop straight into the water.”
First falling birds, now falling fish.
While the two are completely unrelated, there's a lot of a commotion coming from the skies this month. Wildlife officials recently received several reports of birds dropping dead across the state last week, including mountain town areas of Durango and Gunnison.