The Recovery Plan was completed in 1979, revised in 1983 and again in 2009. Historic photos and accounts show early settlers harvesting hundreds of Apache trout in a single trip. They have good sized clean … Juxtaposed to the scorching heat and saguaro cactus filled deserts of southern Arizona, the Apache trout calls the cold headwater streams of the conifer laiden White Mountains home. From there, hikers, campers, and fishermen alike can follow the Little Colorado River that parallels the main trail. It was down-listed to threatened in July 1975 (40 FR 29863, Final Special Rule, 17.44(a)) based on recovery actions and a reanalysis of data. Apache trout have been introduced into isolated streams outside of their hist… This wilderness area is teeming with wildlife, and elk can be seen in large numbers throughout the forest. Jul 24, 2012 - Arizona Apache Trout The Apache Trout is Arizona's state fish. The Apache Trout photo below is courtesy of the U.S. Apache Trout Campground is a rustic campground that has full services available. Recreation: The Apache Trout facility is a short walk away from the 450-acre Big Lake, one of Arizona's top fishing lakes. Once nearing extinction, Apache Trout has been restored to much of their historic range in the White Mountains after decades of cooperative protection and recovery efforts. There are two group sites: site A can accommodate up to 100 people and group B can accommodate up to 50 people. They have single, double and group sites. The down-listing allowed state, tribal, and federal agencies and partners to conduct management actions under the Recovery Plan, regulate take of the species, and establish sport fishing opportunities. Apache trout mostly inhabit isolated headwater streams, and they have become very susceptible to the warming climate along with its byproducts. The skin of the fish is a yellow-gold with a dark green hue on the top of the head and the back. More specifically, these trout only inhabit the headwaters of the Little Colorado and Salt Rivers, where small pools, undercuts, and fallen pines provide ample hiding and feeding areas. The Apache trout is stocked from Silver Creek Hatchery in the summer months into the Little Colorado River near Greer, the Black River and Lee Valley Lake. © 2020 Trout Unlimited. These barriers provide a relatively simple solution to the issue of non-native species encroaching on Apache trout habitat. Fish and Wildlife Service. Apache Trout Campground, Arizona - Camping & Campgrounds. A hundred years ago or so, Apache trout could be found in approximately 600 miles of streams in the White Mountains of Arizona. I cast my dry-dropper up stream and patiently watched as it flowed down the river. Editor’s Note: Five students from the TU Costa 5 Rivers Outreach Program have embarked on a once-in a-lifetime journey in pursuit of 16 native trout species, all on public lands. Everyone laughed at me. One of these species is the Apache trout. Common Name: Apache Trout. Privacy policy — Terms & conditions — Call us toll free: 1-800-834-2419, My Health Stream: Landowner Partner Materials. Apache Trout have an olive-yellow body, with a yellow or golden belly. It is only found in the streams of forests on reservation land and the lakes of the White Mountains, which are located in the eastern part of Arizona (near the New Mexico border). Dorsal, anal and pelvic fins are white tipped with dark, bold spots on dorsal and tail fin. Baldy Wilderness, in the Apache National Forest, is easily accessed at the Sheep’s Xing parking lot. The Apache trout is the state fish of Arizona, and is one of only two species of trout native to that state, with the other being the gila trout (O. g. gilae). Paper Birch trees stick out like sore thumbs against the dense Ponderosa Pine forest. My first wild trout is in the books, and hopefully there are many more to come during our journey. Brett fooled this Apache trout with a large hopper pattern. The Apache Trout photo below is courtesy of D. Kenney. It’s a stunning lake and great to fish from the shore or by boat. It natively lives in clear, cool streams in the White Mountains that flow through coniferous forests and marshes, but has been introduced into several lakes in the area. Title 41 - State Government. The use of fish barriers downstream of known Apache trout habitat create a refuge where non-native trout species are barred from entering and taking valuable resources. The moment we had all been waiting for had finally arrived. However, fishing for Apache trout has become a lot more challenging as of late, due to a decrease in suitable habitat. Currently, there are approximately 28 populations of Apache trout in 170 miles of habitat, compared to the 680 miles of their historical range. The Apache Trout is one of only two fish to be native to a single state, that state being Arizona. Looking down at the Little Colorado River from the trail above. A driving video of the group site at Apache Trout Campground. However, through wise conservation and re-stocking effort, the apache trout has been allowed to flourish in the White Mountains of Arizona near Greer once again. They can grow up to 20 inches long, but most grow only to 9 inches because of the smaller streams in which they live. With support from the U.S. Forest Service, Costa Sunglasses, Simms Fishing Products, Fishpond and Post Fly Box, these students will tell the stories of our native trout, the places they live, and the local economies they fuel. I learned everything from the difference between a dry fly and a nymph, to bow and arrow casting. Our team fished a small and breathtaking river called the Little Colorado. It is one of 5 campgrounds in this area. Historically, Apache Trout occupied streams and rivers in the upper White, Black, and Little Colorado River drainages in the White Mountains of east-central Arizona. There are many backcountry campsites just off of the trail, and it is not hard to find a spot protected by tree cover right beside the stream. Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus apache. Apache trout have been restored to much of their historic range in the White Mountains after decades of cooperative protection and recovery efforts. Transitioning to this meticulous, stealthy, and quiet form of fishing is everything my loud clumsy self struggles with in life. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, settlers of the area could reportedly bag one to two hundred fish on a good afternoon. Brett fooled this Apache trout with a large hopper pattern. Read April 2017 article about Apache Trout recovery efforts. These species is now found in the Upper Salt River and Little Colorado River systems in Arizona. The Mt. Each fish glowed beautifully with their golden tones. Apache Trout Campground is one of five campgrounds at the Big Lake Recreation Area in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, and is especially popular for group camping. My initial cast of the trip, I stripped out a bunch of fly line to my feet, preparing to double haul. The Apache Trout, one Arizona’s two native trout, are returning to lakes and streams in the White Mountains by May. It also has black spots along the body that MIGHT go as far as the tail fin. Apache Trout are one of two native trout species in Arizona and also Arizona’s state fish! Read about the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s Apache Trout conservation work. The Apache trout is one of two trout species that are native to Arizona. Read the 2009 Apache Trout Recovery Plan. Designated as Arizona’s State Fish, the Apache trout was historically found only in the headwaters of the White, Black and Little Colorado rivers above 5,900 feet. It’s a beautiful clear trout stream that will make you forget you’re in the middle of Arizona. This little aquatic beastie is also known as the Arizona trout and is the state fish of Arizona. We have spent the past four days pursuing Apache Trout in the Mount Baldy Wilderness Area, located in Arizona. Adjusting to the finesse of trout fishing is much harder than I expected, trout are the most beautiful fish I have ever encountered, and boys smell stinky. Fish and Wildlife Service. Open terrain, lush forests, and plenty of native wildlife surround this 114 mile long river. The following information was excerpted from the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5. Rainbow, brook, cutthroat, apache and a few brown trout call the lake home. Previous to this experience, the extent to my fly fishing has been with heavy tackle in saltwater settings. Once nearing extinction, Apache Trout has been restored to much of their historic range in the White Mountains after decades of cooperative protection and recovery efforts. Found nowhere else in the world, Apache trout were nearing extinction caused by the introduction of non-native trout and early methods of livestock grazing, timber harvest and other land uses that impacted their habitat. The Apache is one of Arizona’s two native trout species and is the Arizona state fish. Click here to read about Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Apache Trout conservation work. Arizona State Fish: Apache Trout Courtesy: U.S. Complete metapopulation develop- ment, barrier construction and stream renovations needed to get to 30+ popula-tions. All rights reserved. It is home to some of the largest brown trout in the state, but you can also catch smallmouth bass, rainbows, and the rare apache trout. Designated as Arizona’s State Fish, the Apache trout was historically found only in the headwaters of the White, Black and Little Colorado rivers above 5,900 feet. The Apache trout, which is Arizona’s state fish, could become the first native fish in the United States to come off the endangered species list. With boating and fishing facilities and a variety of amenities, Apache Trout is a convenient and comfortable place to stay. Apache trout were once abundant in White Mountains in the late 1800s. The Apache trout … My dry fly submerged under water indicating that a trout had snatched my nymph and the fish was on! Apache trout were first described as a full species Salmo apache in 1972 (Miller 1972), however, based on genetics it is now considered a subspecies of Gila Trout, Oncorhynchus gilae apache(Behnke 2002). Photo courtesy of U.S. Currently, 27 pure (non-hybridized) Apache Trout populations exist within their historical range in Gila, Apache, and Greenlee counties of Arizona, on lands of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). Also, 24 campsites will be ADA compliant for those with disabilities. AZGFD To Resume Stocking Apache Trout. As browns prefer the safety of depth, and rainbows the shelter of rocks and pockets, the Black's vulnerable Apache trout—averaging 8 to 12 inches—often get pushed into shallow riffles. Bradley Clarkson, White Mountain Apache Tribe member and U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service Apache trout biologist, holds a brood fish at the Alchesay-Williams Creek National Fish Hatchery. Apaches are not the most discriminating fish, so most attractors work. The distribution of the Apache trout has been reduced to a fracti… Additionally, recent years of severe drought have caused once fertile waters to run low. Since 2007, the Western Native Trout Initiative has provided $312,700 in funding to 5 projects to benefit Apache Trout. I quickly learned that high-sticking is an essential practice in small rivers, that are loaded with structure along the bank. The trout are stocked from the Page Springs Fish Hatchery. Boom! Over the next few days the group found success using dry flies and dry-dropper rigs. Three native trout species call the American Southwest home. The Apache Trout is one of only two trout native to Arizona. Three native trout species call the American Southwest home. Big Lake is known for its trout fishing, with rainbow, cutthroat, brook and Apache trout being the most sought-after species. An orange to red cutthroat mark is usually present under lower jaw. The Apache Trout was first listed as an Endangered Species on March 11, 1967 (32 FR 4001). The Apache trout is the state fish of Arizona and is native to the headwaters of the Black, White and Little Colorado Rivers in the White Mountains of Arizona. The scenery alone might be my favorite part of this river. The Apache trout is native to the upper Salt River watershed (Black and White rivers) and the upper Little Colorado Riverwatershed. Apache trout became one of the first species to be federally listed as endangered in 1969. The unique Apache trout is now returning to its native range (cold-water streams in the White Mountains of Arizona) after decades of cooperative protection and recovery efforts. But such a beautiful fish should be seen. Chapter 4.1 - HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY AND STATE EMBLEMS. An assortment of Apache trout were caught ranging from small to smaller. Give to the Member Match Challenge and help reach our goal of turning $500,000 into $1,000,000. Six miles north of Sedona above Grasshopper Point … One of these species is the Apache trout. The White Mountain Apache Tribe, Fish and Wildlife, Forest Service, and Game and Fish are working together to restore Apache Trout. 4. Once nearing extinction, the Apache trout is now returning to its place in the legacy of Arizona’s unique, native fish resources. Formerly referred to as “yellow bellies,” these trout are only found in the White Mountains of eastern-central Arizona, very close to the New Mexico border. Apache Trout Campground is the most recent addition to the campgrounds at Big Lake. The Apache trout is the state fish of Arizona, and is one of only two species of trout native to that state, with the other being the gila trout (O. g. gilae). Develop proposed delisting rule and post-delisting management plan. Fishing for Apache Trout – Arizona The White Mountains boast one of the only two trout species native to Arizona. Apache Trout is the newest campground in the Big Lake Recreation Area complex and has full hookups. 124 campsites are at the campground of which 41 will have full hookups. I have come to three major conclusions during our Apache trout pursuit. As one gradually climbs higher in elevation, beautiful meadows break up the mountainous terrain. The water begins to warm near Grasshopper Point and fish struggle to survive any lower. Appearance: Apache Trout are yellow-gold in color along their sides and dark olive on their backs.Spots are irregular and sparse along the body, sometimes extend below the lateral line, and are bold on the dorsal and caudal fins. It natively lives in clear, cool streams in the White Mountains that flow through coniferous forests and marshes, but has been introduced into several lakes in the area. The Department is increasing their efforts in stocking Apache trout in Arizona and has an active recovery and management plan in place. By the late 1960s, these native trout were reduced to about 30 miles of stream. 5. In the final hour of the final day I found success. It natively lives in clear, cool streams in the White Mountains that flow through coniferous forests and marshes, but has been introduced into several lakes in the area. Thankfully, the boys have made for great mentors as I explore this new and exciting style of fishing. Fish & Wildlife Service Arizona Law. Once endangered, the Apache Trout (Arizona’s official state fish) was close to becoming extinct in the middle of the 20th century. Check out the fishing regulations to find open locations. In the early 1900s, state and federal wildlife agencies began stocking non-native trout species into the streams and lakes of the White Mountains to increase fishing opportunities for Arizona's fast-growing population. Native to Arizona, Apache trout thrive in the high elevation water that the Little Colorado River provides. The Apache trout (Oncorhynchus Apache) is presently only existing in the scenic mountainous lakes and streams of Arizona’s White Mountains. Apache trout (Oncorhynchus apache, formerly described asSalmo apache with the common name Arizona trout) is one of two salmonid species native to Arizona (the other is Gila trout, O. gilae), and is currently listed as threatened (Federal Register 1975). Formerly referred to as “yellow bellies,” these trout are only found in the White Mountains of eastern-central Arizona, very close to the New Mexico border. Several shower facilities are on site as well as a dump station for those camping with RV’s. Habitat degradation of the “yellow bellies” can mainly be attributed to timber harvest, livestock grazing, road construction, water diversions, dams and the introduction of non-native trout species. The Apache trout is the state fish of Arizona, and is one of only two species of trout native to that state, with the other being the gila trout (O. g. gilae). Snow-packs that were already low have recently dwindled, causing farmers and ranchers to divert any water they can to supply their thirsty crops. Apache trout are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and they are only found in Arizona. Baldy Wilderness Area, Apache National Forest. Read the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Apache Trout Business plan. Watch this video of Apache Trout spawning at the Alchesay-Williams Creek National Fish Hatchery. The recreation area is also popular for hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and wildlife viewing. The lake is known as Arizona’s best kept secret thanks to the amazing trout fishing, and it’s been said that it’s some of the best in the world. 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