Native to the Gila River drainage in Arizona and New Mexico, Gila Trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) are one of Arizona’s two native trout species. Recovery efforts have reestablished Gila Trout in streams in Arizona and New Mexico. They are opportunistic feeders that feed on aquatic insects such as trichopterans, ephemeropterans, chironomids, and coleopterans, as well as small fishes. Spots on the body are small and profuse, generally occurring above the lateral line and extending onto the head, dorsal fin, and caudal fin. Fishing for Gila trout is like walking through time itself, from the slow grind of geology to the mining booms of the last century. The Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center in northern New Mexico keeps brood stocks of the Gila trout and supplies the fish for restocking. The Gila trout was first described as a species in 1950 (Miller 1950) and were native to the upper Gila and Verde watersheds of Arizona and New Mexico, but have declined significantly since the 1800s. Gila Trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) Data: Gila Trout Recovery Plan-2003 Partners: Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Very small hard to fish stream. Status: Gila Trout were listed as federally endangered in 1967 under the Endangered Species Act and reclassified as threatened in 2006. However, the primary cause of reduced Gila trout populations is habitat loss caused by loss of water flow and shade-giving trees, caused in turn by fires, human destruction of riparian vegetation, livestock overgrazing, agricultural irrigation and water diversion, and channelization of streams in the Gila trout's native range. Arizona Ecological Services Field Office < October 2006 : 15 Kb : Federal Register Notice: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) From Endangered to Threatened; Special Rule for Gila Trout in New Mexico and Arizona: U.S. Gila trout have persisted in five streams within the Gila National Forest, New Mexico, including: Iron, McKenna, and Spruce creeks in the Gila Wilderness Area, along with Main and South Diamond creeks in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area. WELCOME TO THE HOME PAGE OF GILA TROUT CHAPTER # 530 OF TROUT UNLIMITED, LOCATED IN PAYSON, ARIZONA. The fish were carefully […] The extent of the historical distribution of the Gila Trout is not known with certainty. Film courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about Gila Trout conservation efforts. PIMA — Rainbow trout stocking is being temporarily suspended at Pond No. [3], Gila trout can be found in small mountain water streams, and in confined pools. Though Gila trout are limited to just a few mountain streams in New Mexico and Arizona, they can be found scribbled on the “life lists” of many hopeful fly fishermen. Gall, and R.E. The Gila trout is native to some streams in Arizona and New Mexico. The Gila Trout is one of the rarest trout species in the United States. As the climate and landscape changed, they could no longer move between the mountains and the ocean. The Gila trout is native to tributaries of the Gila River in Arizona and New Mexico. Gila trout. 1986. They are only found in Arizona and New Mexico earning them a spot on the federal Endangered Species List in 1967. The average total length is about (11.8 in), with a maximum total length of approximately (21.7 in). of Game and Fish. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service Gila Trout Species Status review: The Gila Trout was originally recognized as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1967 its range had reduced from several hundred miles of stream to just 20 in the Gila Wilderness and Aldo Leopold Wilderness. The best part about fishing for Gila trout is that they aren't too difficult to catch. "Biochemical genetic studies of native Arizona and New Mexico trout,". The trout lives within the cooler, higher waters of the Gila’s New Mexico portion. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State wildlife and fisheries management agencies responsible for establishing fishing regulations work to ensure that angling pressure does not prevent, but enhances, progress toward full recovery. This possibility is distinct: there may be no one alive today that has legally angled a pure Gila trout from its native waters. Sublette, J.E., M.D. The reintroduced Gila trout in Frye Creek are some of the only members of this threatened species in the state of Arizona. [7] After listing USFWS began an aggressive program of stream restoration, removing the introduced trout, restoring and repairing riparian vegetation (to maintain cooler water temperatures), and restocking restored streams with young Gila trout. The Gila trout is native to tributaries of the Gila River in Arizona and New Mexico. Unfortunately, no populations are currently open to angling. The Gila Trout requirement for the Wild Trout Challenge is currently suspended. The Gila trout is one of Arizona’s two threatened native trout species and is also found in New Mexico. Such support may come from both sport fishing enthusiasts and private landowners that might benefit from allowing access to fishing on their property. (2005). Photo courtesy of New Mexico Dept. Of course, Worsham’s fish is heavier than both. WE ARE LOCATED AT ABOUT 5000 FOOT ELEVATION IN NORTH EAST ARIZONA, WITH LOCAL ACCESS TO ABOUT 15 TROUT STREAMS IN OUR IMMEDIATE AREA. The Gila trout is considered a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and occurs naturally only in the headwaters of the Gila River system of New Mexico and Arizona. Gilas are one of two Arizona native trout species. Other native species are the Gila Trout and Apache Trout. Today, Gila Trout conservation is guided by the Gila Trout Recovery Plan (2003) and the Gila Trout Recovery Team, which is composed of professionals from New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of New Mexico, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. In 2015 the Arizona Game and Fish Department reintroduced native fish to Haigler Creek. However, allowing for limited angling for a unique native species can increase public knowledge and support for its conservation. Below: New Mexico Dept. Loudeslager, E.J., J.N. The International Game Fish Association All-Tackle World Record Gila trout stands at 3 pounds, 7 ounces and was caught by Bo Nelson in 2011 from Arizona’s Frye Mesa Reservoir. The Gila trout, native to a few river drainages of Arizona and New Mexico, was federally listed as endangered in 1967 under the predecessor to the Endangered Species Act. Body color is iridescent gold on the sides that blend to a darker shade of copper on the gill plates. One of the rarest trout species, Gila trout are only found in Arizona and New Mexico. It's possible to catch Gila trout and their eastern Arizona cousins, the Apache trout, in two or three days of fishing. The Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae gilae) had an historic range that included the headwaters of the Gila River drainage in New Mexico, the Gila River, and possibly the San Francisco Drainage, and the Verde and Agua Fria drainages of Arizona [1]. Gila trout were pretty much nonexistent in Arizona until the 1990s. The U.S. Between 2007 and 2020, the Western Native Trout Initiative has provided $479,375 in funding to 11 projects in Arizona and New Mexico to benefit Gila Trout conservation. Fish and Wildlife Service) maintains captive populations of all four Gila Trout lineages. This page was last edited on 25 February 2020, at 09:17. [1], Gila trout have a yellow body, with black spots. A Gila Trout captured in Frye Creek, Arizona. In recent years, drought and fire have destroyed habitat in some streams, but in some way, the fires have also provided opportunities. The down-listing to threatened in 2006 includes a special provision that allows the states of New Mexico and Arizona to manage the species as a sportfish in select areas for the first time in almost 50 years. Watch this short film of Gila Trout restoration work in the headwaters of the Gila River, New Mexico. Stay up to date on new fishing regulations and future habitat work. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is stocking Gila trout in the East Verde River every week throughout the summer. Fish and Wildlife Service. [2] Gila trout are closely related to Apache trout. Fish and Wildlife Service about Gila Trout conservation efforts. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. Natural fish barriers prevented Gila trout from entering the upper Tonto Creek drainage (AZ). In a recent project with Arizona Game & Fish Department, Friends staff members Amanda Webster and Ben Kowalewski helped reintroduce Gila Trout to their native waters in the West Fork of Oak Creek. The photo below was taken by Craig Springer, U.S. The Gila trout is found historically in the Verde and Agua Fria drainages in Arizona. Natural fish barriers prevented Gila trout from entering the upper Tonto Creek drainage (AZ). By the time the Gila trout was closed to fishing in the 1950s, its numbers and range were so depleted and so reduced this copper-colored trout simply wasn't very accessible to anglers. It is known to be native to higher elevation streams in portions of the Gila River drainage in New Mexico, San Francisco River drainage in Arizona and New Mexico, and tributaries to the Gila River in Arizona. The average total length is about 30 cm (11.8 in); with maximum total length approximately 55 cm (21.7 in). Prior to 2006 the Gila trout was federally listed as endangered. Gila Trout have been restored as a sport fishery to four reservoirs and one stream in Arizona, and in New Mexico there are currently 4 streams where you can catch a wild Gila Trout: Black Canyon, Willow Creek, Mineral Creek, and Mogollon Creek. These four photos were taken by Dustin Myers, U.S. Gila Trout are also native to Arizona and listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. OUR CHAPTER WAS STARTED IN 2009 AND HAS ABOUT 55 MEMBERS AT PRESENT. Gila Trout can grow to about 17-18 inches and are yellowish-brown, gold or copper. Fishing for wild Gila trout in Arizona might one day be possible. The species is now more secure than it was in the 1970s, having been moved to 10 new streams, though populations and habitat are still far below those originally established. 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). In July 2006, after much work by the Game and Fish departments in New Mexico and Arizona, the US Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Gila trout was down-listed to threatened, with a special provision called a "4d rule" that will allow limited sport fishing – for the first time in nearly half a century. 1990. One of the first North American fish to be actively conserved, there is no doubt that the Gila trout is immensely important to the world of fishing. Gila trout definition is - a deep-bodied trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) inhabiting cool mountain streams of New Mexico and Arizona that is typically yellowish-brown above and golden yellow on the sides and belly with profuse black dots mainly above the lateral line and a faint, rose stripe along each side of the body. Read this article (May 20, 2015) by the U.S. Additionally, the Mora National Fish Health and Technology Center (U.S. 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 agencies continue a program of stream restoration – removing nonnative species, constructing barriers to prevent nonnatives from reinvading, and returning Gila Trout to streams. Watch this short video clip of Gila Trout being released into West Fork Oak Creek, Arizona. Gila trout have persisted in five streams within the Gila National Forest, New Mexico, including: Iron, McKenna, and Spruce creeks in the Gila Wilderness Area, along with Main and South Diamond creeks in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area. Gila trout are closely related to Apache Trout, another native species of Arizona. Gila Trout . Over 20 volunteers participated, hiking 1-4 miles with buckets strapped to backpack frames, each carrying water and 15-20 trout. ©2019 Western Native Trout Initiative. Gila trout are found only in Arizona and New Mexico. The Gila Trout was listed as federally endangered in 1967 and re-classified as threatened in 2006 after efforts to restore populations were successful. David. Gila trout are one of only two native trout species in Arizona; the other is the Apache trout, the state fish. Gila trout are relatives of the Pacific salmon, originally making their way up into the mountains of the Southwest by migrating from the Gulf of California. There are 6 additional locations in New Mexico that are open to angling and contain stocked populations. The New Mexico state record Gila trout is 4 pounds, 8 ounces. These trout have had a tough go at life in Arizona streams, but TU, along with the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD), are working hard to give them a better existence and to one day give anglers a chance to catch these beautiful fish. Gila Trout angling will continue to be managed by the States as long as the population remains above the recovery threshold. They were considered extirpated from Arizona in 1990. Involvement from the general public and landowners provides opportunity for increased Gila Trout restoration and should result in a conservation benefit to the species. As of 2011 there is fishing in both states for this fish. Gila trout are one of the rarest trout species in the United States, making them a focus of Trout Unlimited’s restoration work on native, southwestern trout. The number of eggs produced from females held in hatcheries averaged about 150. Altogether, the Gila traces a path that begins in the Black Range of New Mexico and flows across the breadth of Arizona before joining the Colorado River near Yuma. Gila Trout in Southeast Arizona. Video courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service and Dustin Myers. DJ and Ranger focused on the task at hand Currently, five remnant lineages exist (Main Diamond, South Diamond, Whiskey Creek, Iron Creek, and Spruce Creek) and there are pure populations of Gila Trout in 21 streams in New Mexico and four streams in Arizona, due to ongoing restoration efforts. [5] The maximum fecundity observed was 686 eggs.[6]. of Game and Fish Gila Trout biologist, Jill Wick, holding a Gila Trout. 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