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Old 07-03-2019, 08:40 AM
jchar85719 jchar85719 is offline
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Gila Trout

Went up to Canyon Creek on Sunday to try out my new Echo Shadow II nymph rod. Wanted to go someplace just to get familiar with the euro nymphing style, so I went up to the upper portion of Canyon Creek by the hatchery. It was my first attempt at this style of fishing. I still have a lot to learn, but I definitely see the appeal of this style of fly fishing. Within minutes of putting the line into the water I pulled out several rainbows.

Prior to hitting the stream, I went up to the hatchery to check it out. Wandered in. There did not appear to be anybody around except one man down on one of the lower runs throwing handfuls of feed to small trout. I walked up to him, and startled him, as he appeared to be "in the moment" feeding the young trout. Struck up a conversation with him. Turns out, he was a top dog at the hatchery. He said he rarely feeds the fish himself as he is always busy with the business of running the hatchery. Seemed like he was enjoying his Sunday feeding the trout.

Spoke to him regarding a number of topics. The topic of wild trout and Gila trout came up. Well, looks like there are going to be major changes on the Gila Trout front if all goes well at the Canyon Creek Hatchery. He said they have a bunch of Gila trout at the hatchery that they have been bringing along. First year was tough getting the wild fish to grow in the hatchery, but he said they turned the corner and are now eating and growing like crazy.

They have to grow more before being released, but are doing well. He also told me that Game and Fish have significant plans for the Canyon Creek Hatchery and the Gila Trout. The hope is to start a breeding program there. It sounded like Canyon Creek Hatchery and the Gila Trout will be going full bore with facility upgrades, etc. He did not relate to me the plans for the Gila Trout on the rim, but one would have to assume that once they get this thing rolling, there will be some big changes a head for some of the streams up there. For those of us that are big fans of wild trout, good things appear to be on the horizon.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:00 AM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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Though I hope they will be judicious in planting gila trout in our streams - not simply installing populations in every stream that looks like they can survive at the cost of the populations that have established themselves...that is good news.

I found it personally exciting and gratifying to help with the efforts in Frye Creek in the Pinalenos, and devastating when fires and subsequent floods wiped them out, so look forward to future efforts. Good that we will commit resources here in the state, so are not as reliant on the Mora Hatchery in NM.

Given the perils to small, isolated populations here in our states, it definitely will be good to have more diverse habitats for these historic species.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:19 AM
jchar85719 jchar85719 is offline
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He told me that they were working very closely with the Mora hatchery and that they were working with three different wild strains of the Gila.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:49 AM
bgiordano bgiordano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztightlines View Post
Though I hope they will be judicious in planting gila trout in our streams - not simply installing populations in every stream that looks like they can survive at the cost of the populations that have established themselves...that is good news.

I found it personally exciting and gratifying to help with the efforts in Frye Creek in the Pinalenos, and devastating when fires and subsequent floods wiped them out, so look forward to future efforts. Good that we will commit resources here in the state, so are not as reliant on the Mora Hatchery in NM.

Given the perils to small, isolated populations here in our states, it definitely will be good to have more diverse habitats for these historic species.
Streams are chosen carefully when re-establishing native fish populations. There are so many within the native range of Gila or Apache Trout. So it limits those choices. The biggest hurdle is the presence of a barrier. If there's no barrier, there won't be reintroduction for recovery purposes. Managers don't stock natives to the point of stocking natives. The goal is to have them fishable as quickly as possible. And the long-term goal is to get them (Gilas and Apaches) de-listed off the Endangered Species List so that the state can manage them without the Federal oversight.

With the success of Mora and hopefully Canyon Creek (which I have a lot of faith in the folks working there), the restoration of Gila Trout waters should go more smoothly than Apache Trout restoration at the moment. They have figured out how to raise fish for the wild environment and produce a lot more fish for restoration purposes.

Not all these fish are slated to be for restoration or to produce wild populations, though. Some will be use for recreational put-and-take fisheries. The idea is to start replacing Rainbow Trout with Gila Trout in stocked waters within the historic native range of Gila Trout. Personally, I'd rather catch a Gila than a Rainbow in AZ.

One thing to keep in mind when thinking about "losing" fishable populations of non-native fish is that here and NM are the only places in the world where Gila Trout exist. And Apaches have an even smaller range. Folks are figuring out how to produce these natives to the point that the success rate of restoration to fishable populations is increasing AND quickening. We have a lot more people traveling to Arizona now to fish for Gilas and Apaches than we have had before. And they greatly outweigh the number of people that travel here to fish for non-natives. That brings in revenue to the state and specifically to fisheries management.

As an angler, these are exciting times for fishing for native trout.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:31 PM
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MudBug MudBug is offline
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Originally Posted by bgiordano View Post
As an angler, these are exciting times for fishing for native trout.
I disagree and all I trust AZGF to do is kill off self sustaining populations of wild bred, non native fish so that after a 7 year ban on fishing the area I'll be able to fish for hatchery bred, "Native" fish that have to be stocked every few moths so that someone from other state can come and put that notch on his handle while him and his buddies crowd the short bits of time I'm able to get away to fish these days.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:45 PM
bgiordano bgiordano is offline
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Originally Posted by MudBug View Post
I disagree and all I trust AZGF to do is kill off self sustaining populations of wild bred, non native fish so that after a 7 year ban on fishing the area I'll be able to fish for hatchery bred, "Native" fish that have to be stocked every few moths so that someone from other state can come and put that notch on his handle while him and his buddies crowd the short bits of time I'm able to get away to fish these days.

Do you have examples of these?
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:28 AM
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stoneflynut stoneflynut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudBug View Post
I disagree and all I trust AZGF to do is kill off self sustaining populations of wild bred, non native fish so that after a 7 year ban on fishing the area I'll be able to fish for hatchery bred, "Native" fish that have to be stocked every few moths so that someone from other state can come and put that notch on his handle while him and his buddies crowd the short bits of time I'm able to get away to fish these days.
Sounds like you need to squeeze a wet, slimy, squiggly salmonid. Great elixir!
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:23 PM
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I agree Mudbug. I would rather catch a wild Brown than a rubber stocker Gila or Apache all day long....just my preference. Though, I have no problem with replacing stocker rainbows with stocker Gila....if a lake/stream is full of stockers, they may as well be a native.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:58 AM
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MeLikeFlyFish-FlyFishGood MeLikeFlyFish-FlyFishGood is offline
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Originally Posted by River View Post
I agree Mudbug. I would rather catch a wild Brown than a rubber stocker Gila or Apache all day long....just my preference. Though, I have no problem with replacing stocker rainbows with stocker Gila....if a lake/stream is full of stockers, they may as well be a native.
Exactly. It seems that under current (like the last half-century) of weather patterns here in AZ that the brown is best suited for self-sustainable populations in the majority of Arizona's small streams.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:18 AM
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The European brown trout are everywhere and so are selfish anglers.
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Last edited by joe; 07-16-2019 at 10:47 AM.
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