The 416 fire in 2018 was devastating, to be sure, but we're just finding out how bad it really was.

Nearly 54,000 acres burned in 2018 from the fire but the heavy rain that occurred after the fire took all of that ash and ran it into the river, and that's where the fish began battling for their lives.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife conducted a survey of the area and found far fewer fish and what they did find were smaller as well.

But that's where the bad news ends.

This spring the run-off from all of the snow helped clean the river bottom and that means the fish can return to the area, now that they can breathe. But will that be enough?

CPW will continue to re-stock the river with fish but the Animas, a Gold-Medal fishing area will have severe shortages of Gold Medal type fish. Does that mean they will lose their gold medal status?

NO. The process will take time, but it will return to former levels, thanks to the restocking efforts.

CPW normally stocks the river with up to 10,000 trout per year. Give it a little time and the Animas will be back.

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