To native and wild trout afficianados in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park takes on a similar significance as Shenandoah NP does to easterners: its possibly the best single place to find a large number of native trout streams (and lakes) in a pristine setting within a concentrated area. With Estes Park, the eastern gateway to RMNP, being less than 90 minutes from Denver, it’s a place that a lot of folks go for day hikes and/or overnight trips.
This KMZ will be invaluable if you’re planning a fishing trip. It’s capabilities are illustrated in the image below (text continues after the image…)
Here we see an angled view in Google Earth of the North Fork of the Big Thompson. It’s showing off GE’s built-in elevation model, and it’s ability to simulate the local terrain by texture-mapping the satellite ground imagery onto the model To the right of the screen, the stream is shown as a purple line (indicating mixed native and non-native trout populations are resident). Note, to the left, the stream line turns blue, indicating that only native cutthroat are resident there, as does the blue color for “Lost Lake”. The small green tents show you where wilderness camping is permitted (which requires a reservation/permit). The bright salmon colored lines are marking hiking trails. Not shown in this image, red water bodies mean only non native trout are resident (mostly brook trout, but sometimes rainbows, brown trout, or cutthroat from other drainages, e.g. Yellowstone cutts). Cream-colored water bodies are barren, i.e. don’t hold trout. Charcoal lines mean unknown. Check out the image at the bottom of this article to see the full park coverage.
Click on any of these features and a balloon will pop up telling you the name of the feature and other useful information. The KML also provides trailhead information, which can be turned on and off by clicking check boxes.
This KMZ was created by WildTroutStreams.com based on information contained in a conservation document published by the USFWS and NPS, entitled: Fisheries and Aquatic Management – Rocky Mountain National Park, 2000. Recent correspondence with the park confirmed that this data is still considered largely accurate because no stocking has taken place since 1969. The report is also available in the download system.