The Apache Trout is one of only two trout native to Arizona. 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. Once nearing extinction, Apache Trout have been restored to much of their historic range in the White Mountains after decades of cooperative protection and recovery efforts. Apache Trout have an olive-yellow body, with a yellow or golden belly. They can grow up to 20 inches long, but most grow only to 9 inches because of the smaller streams in which they live.
The Apache Trout was first listed as an Endangered Species on March 11, 1967 (32 FR 4001). 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. 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. The Recovery Plan was completed in 1979, revised in 1983 and again in 2009.
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. 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).
Read the 2009 Apache Trout Recovery Plan.
Read the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Apache Trout Business plan.
Click here to read about Arizona Game and Fish Department's Apache Trout conservation work.
Read about the White Mountain Apache Tribe's Apache Trout conservation work.
Read April 2017 article about Apache Trout recovery efforts.
Watch this video of Apache Trout spawning at the Alchesay-Williams Creek National Fish Hatchery.
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. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Apache Trout photo below is courtesy of D. Kenney.
The Apache Trout photo below is courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.