PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be adjusting trout stockings in some high country lakes to enhance opportunities for fishing adventures and to protect wild trout populations and important trout fishing resources.
AZGFD is adjusting some trout stockings due to a few of Arizona’s state and federal fish hatcheries having tested positive for Bacteria Kidney Disease. The Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) pathogen is specific to trout and salmon, and in some cases can be lethal to trout and salmon. BKD does not affect humans.
Although it can be easily passed from one trout to another, the pathogen can lie dormant and not cause any sickness. BKD-positive trout are still edible and good quality. The Department always recommends anglers cook all fish to the proper temperature to ensure safe consumption.
Due to the BKD-positive findings, the AZGFD this year will not be stocking trout into waters where the pathogen could be transmitted to wild trout populations, or into stocked trout-dependent fisheries.
What does this mean for anglers?
The biggest impact will be at Sheeps Crossing on the West Fork of the Little Colorado River, which will not be stocked with Apache trout and will not get any hatchery-stocked trout this year.
As the AZGFD protects long-term trout fishing opportunities in Arizona, trout fishing opportunities throughout the summer will remain abundant. In fact, waters such as the East Fork of the Black River, the Little Colorado River in Greer, and Silver Creek, will be supplemented with rainbow trout to ensure level numbers of stocked trout.
Great opportunities for anglers remain at:
- Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake. These summer trout specialties will continue to be stocked well throughout the summer, including a May stocking of tiger trout.
- Big Lake. Also has good holdover trout, including high numbers of big cutthroats. Stockings will continue.
- Carnero Lake. Experienced a winter kill of trout and has been replenished with high numbers of rainbow trout, including some larger-than-average trout. Also has been stocked with tiger trout.
- East Fork Black River, Little Colorado River in Greer, and Silver Creek. All are being stocked with full numbers of trout through the summer with rainbow trout instead of Apache trout.
- New opportunities such as the Patterson Ponds community fishing water, and the stocking of tiger trout for the first time in Arizona.
- The Arizona trout challenge. Up to it?
- Luna Lake. Good “holdover” trout from last year, including big rainbows. Luna will continue to be stocked this year.
- Greer Lakes. Heavily stocked. River and Tunnel have good numbers of big, holdover rainbow and brown trout.
- Hulsey Lake. Dredged last summer, and for the first time since the Wallow Fire, was heavily stocked.
- Show Low Lake and Fool Hollow Lake. Being stocked with large trout, including some large Apache trout.
- Woodland Lake. Heavily stocked (including some large rainbow trout).
- Show Low Creek. Is being stocked with rainbow trout.