Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Arizona: Gila Trout Season is Open at Frye Mesa Reservoir

From the Arizona game and fish department:

On February 23, 2011, the first season for Gila trout in Arizona history opened at Frye Mesa Reservoir. The Arizona Game and Fish Department in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Trout Unlimited volunteers, stocked the reservoir with about 800 Gila trout that came from the Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center in Mora, NM.
This is the first known fishing season for Gila trout in Arizona. Gila trout, which are listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act, occupy a small number of streams in Arizona which are used towards recovery of the species. Currently, fishing is closed at all Gila trout recovery streams in Arizona, including Frye Creek above the reservoir. Anglers are able to fish for the Gila trout stocked into Frye Mesa Reservoir because they were surplus fish from the hatchery, primarily broodstock fish.
There is a one-fish bag and possession limit for Gila trout, but it is recommended to practice catch-and-release so other anglers may enjoy an opportunity to catch a Gila trout. The reservoir was previously stocked with non-native trout including brook, brown, and rainbow trout; thus, anglers may enjoy catching a variety of trout species in one location.

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