One of the great voices in trout and salmonid conservation died Friday, September 13, in Fort Collins, CO. Dr. Robert “Bob” Behnke was 83.
Author, college professor and outspoken advocate of trout conservation worldwide, Behnke was perhaps best known for identifying and helping to protect native cutthroat trout and Greenback and Lahontan cutthroat subspecies.
Prior to Behnke’s research, Greenback and the Pyramid Lake strain of Lahontan cutthroats were considered extinct. Behnke’s work as a graduate student and later as a scientist involved developing the characteristic profiles of these and other “lost” species from museum specimens so that the fish could be identified if encountered in the wild. As a result, many native populations were identified, restored and protected. A proposal has been made to name the Fine Spotted Snake River Cutthroat trout after Behnke in honor of his work.
You can hear more about Behnke’s work in his own words in this interview by Zach Matthews.
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