The Arizona Recreation and Fish Division (AZGFD) works arduous to offer enjoyable and distinctive fishing alternatives for anglers. Arizona has two native trout species that many anglers have on their fishing record, the Gila and Apache trout. The division has saved these two endangered species in sure waters of the state.
Anglers are all the time enthusiastic about new fishing alternatives, and that typically comes with added obligations. That is the case with sure trout streams not too long ago recognized by AZGFD. The division has been working for a number of years to arrange restoration waterways for the populations of Gila and Apache trout. Many of those streams are present in Rim Nation and the White Mountains, in areas the place these fish have been discovered traditionally. A few of these streams will quickly be open to fishing with restrictions, giving anglers an opportunity to catch wild and native Arizona trout.
To guard these fragile populations, these salvage streams might be closed to all fishing through the spawning interval of Gila and Apache trout. These closures will happen from January 1 to April 30. On Might 1, these recognized watercourses might be open to catch and launch fishing with barbless flies or single level lures. No bait might be allowed.
It’s a super accomplishment of the division to deliver the Gila and Apache trout again to our state the place they will permit fishing in these salvage streams for anglers.
The division has additionally stocked a number of waters throughout the state the place anglers can fish for each Gila and Apache trout 12 months spherical. In these leisure fishing waters, the restrict is the statewide each day restrict of 4 trout, and they are often caught utilizing bait. The East Verde River is the closest place to fish for leisure stocked gila trout.
There are extra streams the division has chosen that meet the stringent necessities for the introduction of Apache or Gila trout for salvage functions. They’re working arduous to revive wholesome populations that can hopefully at some point even be open to particular angling alternatives. Nevertheless, at this stage, the populations are too fragile to contemplate opening them as much as any fishing strain.
It’s of essential significance that anglers are absolutely conscious of the fishing rules in power within the state, particularly with regard to each day bag limits, particular rules, closed seasons and programs. water that are fully closed to fishing always of the 12 months.
Be sure you learn Regulation 2021/2022 on-line or within the Fishing Regulation booklet. Modifications from the 2020/2021 rules are listed on web page 4, new statewide rules are listed on web page 6, particular rules for the White Mountains are listed on web page 12 and Rim Nation Waters on web page 16.
Traditionally, the Gila trout present in Arizona are believed to have lived within the Gila River, San Francisco River, Agua Fria River, Tonto Creek, and Verde River basins. Apache Arizona trout have been discovered within the Black, White, and Little Colorado watersheds within the White Mountains of east-central Arizona.
Whereas the ministry has labored to revive Gila and Apache trout in some salvage streams for greater than a decade, occasions similar to wildfires have usually destroyed years of effort. Together with habitat destruction, hybridization and competitors from non-native species like rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout complicate the issue of bringing these lovely native trout again to Arizona.
Arizona and New Mexico have made nice strides in transferring Gila and Apache trout from endangered to threatened, and now to the purpose of providing some waterways for fishing. The Apache trout was listed as endangered in 1967, then upgraded in 1975 as threatened. The gila trout was listed as endangered in 1967 and, in 2006, was listed as threatened.
Though there’s a repository of the 5 remaining inhabitants strains of Gila trout within the Mora Nationwide Hatchery in New Mexico, the 30 pure populations of Apache trout in Arizona shouldn’t have such a repository and the streams during which they reside. are sometimes their final stronghold. This makes restoration streams vitally necessary to our continued hope of bringing these populations again.
I proceed to take pleasure in catching leisure stocked Gila and Apache trout, and look ahead to exploring a few of the salvage streams that can open in Might for catch and launch fishing for these trout. particular. It is vital that fishermen respect and assist AZGFD’s work in establishing particular populations in chosen waterways in order that the division can develop and preserve wholesome populations of native trout, and we’re privileged to fish them sooner or later.