The once thought extinct greenback cutthroats are making a comeback.

Designated as the Colorado state fish in 1996, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout was believed to be gone forever. However, years ago a tiny population was discovered in a stream in the Pikes Peak region. Since their discovery volunteers have been working hard along with the  Colorado Parks & Wildlife to restore the fish's populations.

Today the rare Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout are being reintroduced into their home waters. CP&W have been raising greenbacks at the hatchery in Leadville. The Leadville National Fish Hatchery was established in 1889 and is the second oldest federally operated fish hatchery in the US. In this historic facility, biologists are raising and then releasing these rare fish back into their native waters. Fly fisherman and outdoor lovers are celebrating the fishes return.

The Colorado Park's & Wildlife's goal is for the population of Greenback Cutthroat trout to one day be self-sustaining. The challenge is a big one. The Greenback has a very fragile ecosystem and is only been found in the South Platte and Arkansas River basins.

It's quite the story. To thought to have been lost forever and now having the fish once again swimming in their native waters, it's a Colorado Cutthrought comeback for sure.

Credit: Fox31