Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New Mexico
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New Mexico Project

Restoration of Rio Grande cutthroat trout to the Mescalero Apache Reservation

May 2010 - October 2013


Participating Agencies

  • Mescalero Apache Tribe
Bradley Kalb working on the Rio Ruidoso of the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico

Over the past twenty years, the Mescalero Apache Tribe has managed a series of watersheds on the Mescalero Indian Reservation as a native trout fishery, accepting accounts that a pure strain of RGCT existed. This was to serve as a RGCT broodstock source, however recent studies revealed cutthroat trout in this drainage were not a pure strain. Sources of pure Pecos strain can be obtained from the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game. The Mescalero Tribe has agreed to restore the watersheds within their tribal lands to serve as refugia for the Pecos strain. The Tribe and its Council has agreed to partner with U.S. Geological Survey, New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, New Mexico State University, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the NMGFD to meet mutually shared goals of restoring and maintaining a RGCT within its historic range. The importance of developing effective and meaningful partnerships with agencies and non-profit organizations that share mutual goals while respecting Tribal sovereignty cannot be overstated. The long term value of this partnership will not only provide habitat benefits and protection for RGCT, but will build trust and management capacity for the species as well.

Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Kalb, B. 2013. A bioenergetic assessment of seasonal habitat selection and behavioral thermoregulation of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in a southwestern headwater stream. Masters of Science, New Mexico State University. Las Cruces, New Mexico. September 2013