The Palisade High School Fish Hatchery team make funny fish faces after successfully releasing the student raised endangered fish into the Colorado River. Photo by Mikaela Oles U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service



By Michael Gross- Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program

May 9th, 2023-  Palisade High School (PHS) Endangered Fish Hatchery released their third batch of student-cultured endangered razorback sucker into their native habitat on the Colorado River at Riverbend Park in Palisade, Colorado. Roughly 240 razorback sucker were released with the largest at 13 inches. The partnership between the PHS Fish Hatchery and the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program began planning in 2015 with propagation operations commencing at the newly built on-campus fish hatchery in 2020. Now, after three full years of fish culture, nearly 700 endangered razorback sucker cultured at PHS have been released by students into the Colorado River near the school campus.

The event received fantastic media coverage making front page of the local newspaper and was featured on numerous local and regional TV news stations, social media, as well as national Yahoo News and MSN News. Numerous political representatives were present and also promoted the event on social media. Thank you to all involved (especially students and faculty at PHS) for making this such a great community event! The Recovery Program has some great advocates and messengers through this groundbreaking program.

Below are links to some stories covered by various media outlets as well as a short video of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams celebrating the 2023 PHS razorback sucker release and 50th year anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

Video from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams regarding the 2023 PHS Fish Hatchery razorback sucker release

Grand Junction Sentinel Front Page- Palisade High School Fish Hatchery releases 240 endangered razorback sucker

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service- Raising the razorback sucker

CBS News 5 KREX Grand Junction, CO- Students restore endangered fish species

NBC News 11 Grand Junction, CO- Palisade High School students release fish into Colorado River

CBS News 7 Denver, CO- Colorado High School students raising endangered fish