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Learn About the Differences in Federal Land Designations

If you are a hunter, angler, camper, hiker, wildlife watcher, or live anywhere in rural Arizona, you are well acquainted with the treasure of Federal public lands in our State. It’s almost a certainty that one of your favorite places is located on these public lands. It is also very likely that you have been confused at some point by land designations (e.g., National Conservation Area, National Park, National Monuments, National Forest, National Recreation Areas, Wilderness, National Historic Site, and many more). Learn more about these differences and what they mean for outdoor recreation by clicking the LEARN MORE button. You will be redirected to a great article that Brad Powell, the former president of the Arizona Wildlife Federation, has written.

15th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference


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Welcome:  Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited

Apache Trout Updates

Apache Trout Recovery on the Fort Apache Indian reservation

Navigating the murky waters of regulation under the changing waters of the United States definition

Brown Trout of Rover Reservoir

Gila Trout Conservation in New Mexico

Status Update on Mogollon Rim Trout Streams

Arizona Gila Trout Update

Apache Awards Presentations

Working towards restoration of fire-impacted Gila trout watershed with TU-coordinated volunteers (and some mules)

New Zealand Mudsnail in Arizona Best Gear Cleaning Practices

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Collaborative Black River Landscape Restoration Planning for Apache Trout Climate Resilience

Advocacy – Conservation in the Political Arena

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Lees Ferry Trout Fishery Update

New Mexico Trout Challenge

Attendees at the 15th Annual Native & Wild Trout Conference

14th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference


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Welcome:  Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited

Apache Trout Recovery in Arizona

Apache Trout Recovery on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation

Case Study of an Apache Trout Stream – After the Wallow Fire

Gila Trout Recovery in Arizona

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Fate of the Stocked Gila Trout

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Gila Trout Challenge and Recovery in New Mexico

Gila and Apache Trout Awards Presentation

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Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Recovery in New Mexico

Arizona Game and Fish Department Cold Water Strategic Vision

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Trout Unlimited:  Black River – Bureau of Reclamation Grant

East Verde River Habitat Improvement Project

Legislation Affecting Conservation

Lees Ferry Trout Fishery: Present and Future

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Lees Ferry – Emerging Water Quality Concerns

Lees Ferry Brown Trout Incentivized Harvest Program

Arizona Trout Challenge

Attendees at the 14th Annual Native & Wild Trout Conference

13th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference - Virtual Webinar

The Native and Wild Trout conference is attended by those interested in learning the current and future status of native and wild trout in Arizona and New Mexico. Our mission is to spark the interest of developing future plans to promote, restore and manage these native and wild coldwater fish species.

Click HERE for the Apache & Gila Trout Conservation 2014-2022 Award winners.

Click HERE for the NWTC 2022 award presentation slides.

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12th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference - Virtual Webinar

Session 1

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  • Welcome: Ty Gray: AZGFD Director
  • Welcome: Julie Carter: Aquatic Wildlife Branch Chief
  • Keynote Speaker: Chris Wood: Trout Unlimited, CEO
  • Overview 101: Native Trout in Arizona

Session 2

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  • Apache Trout Challenges & Recovery in Arizona
  • Gila Trout Recovery in Arizona
  • Gila Trout Hatchery Updates in Arizona
  • Fate of the Stocked Gila Trout

Session 3

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  • Gila Trout Challenges & Recovery in New Mexico
  • Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Recovery in New Mexico
  • Gila and Apache Trout awards/Distinguished Service for Conservation

Session 4

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  • Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) / Arizona’s Surface Water Protection Program
  • Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI)
  • Legislation Affecting Conservation, State and Federal

Session 5

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  • Lee’s Ferry Trout Fishery, Intro/background
  • Current status of Lee’s Ferry Trout Fishery
  • Lee’s Ferry: Aquatic Food Base Concerns
  • Lee’s Ferry: Emerging Water Quality Concerns
  • Lee’s Ferry: Brown Trout Incentivized Harvest
  • AZGFD Trout Challenge/ Fishing Regulations

Four Forest Restoration (4FRI) Initiative

Four national forests – the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto – are actively managed in a collaborative initiative to carry out landscape-scale restoration of the ponderosa pine forests in northern Arizona. Various types of restoration work including wildlife habitat improvement, grassland restoration, watershed maintenance, spring restoration, stream channel restoration, trail and road maintenance, road decommissioning as well as thinning and prescribed burning are part of this vast initiative. Arizona Trout Unlimited supports many of these efforts to create sustainable ecosystems hand in hand with sustainable industries.

Arizona Trout Unlimited Tracked Conservation Projects:

Upper East Verde River Watershed Restoration

Working in partnership with Arizona Trout Unlimited, Gila Trout Chapter of TU, Tonto National Forest and Arizona Game and Fish Department, Gila Trout protections are being implemented to ensure the native trout’s recovery.

Christopher Creek R – C Scout/Summer Camp

The overall goal of this project will create a model desert fish habitat and refuge populations of native roundtail chub and longfin dace in the R-C Scout Ranch pond. Once established, this refuge population of Roundtail chub will provide youth recreational fishing opportunities, and nature study. Additionally, we are restoring native Gila Trout in nearby Christopher Creek. These projects will provide improved youth fishing and conservation education opportunities for both the summer campers, as well as Mogollon Rim area youth. The camp is also used for various environmental youth camps, including STEM programs, American Cancer Society, and others.

Black River Landscape Restoration

In the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona Trout Unlimited is working to advance forest resiliency and maintain a healthy ecosystem on the Alpine and Springerville Ranger Districts.

Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Plan

The Upper Colorado Basin requires ongoing monitoring and protection of endangered species. Arizona Trout Unlimited is helping to utilize science to identify best practices to manage the land, foster relationships with tribal entities and create a balanced plan of stewardship to ensure a harmonious relationship between recreation and environmental concerns.

C. C. Craigin Watershed (formerly Blue Ridge Reservoir) Protection

Reducing the risk of wildfire and reestablish a fire adapted, resilient, diverse and sustainable forest ecosystem surrounding the City of Payson’s primary water supply. This project is a combined effort between Salt River Project, the Town of Payson, Bureau of Reclamation, Coconino National Forest, National Forest Foundation and Arizona Trout Unlimited to provide actionable mitigation of the risks to the watershed and the surrounding resources.

Native Trout Catch/Release and Recovery Stream Signage

In conjunction with Arizona Game and Fish Department and the US Forest Service, AZTU is working to place informational signage informing anglers of efforts to protect our native trout species.

Position On Native And Wild Non-Native Salmonid Management

Arizona is fortunate to have historic populations of native trout species (Apache, Gila) and many well-established populations of several wild (naturally reproducing) non-native salmonids (Rainbow, Brown, Brook, and Grayling). The conservation of all Arizona’s native trout and wild non-native salmonids is a priority of the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited (AZTU) and we believe that both native and wild non-native fishes of all salmonid species are important components of the state’s aquatic communities. Both native and wild non-native salmonids have important cultural, recreational, scientific, economic and legacy values.

Citizen Science for Gila Trout

For those anglers targeting Apache Trout or Gila Trout in Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Department asks that they please take the time to fill out this survey form after each fishing trip targeting Apache Trout or Gila Trout. The form collects information on when and where anglers fished for Apache Trout or Gila Trout, the type of fishing gear they used, and how many fish they caught. Filling out this survey is completely voluntary and responses are completely anonymous. This information will be used by the Arizona Game and Fish Department to better manage Apache Trout and Gila Trout in Arizona.

The Conservation Committee

The Conservation Committee is a project oriented committee and meets as often as necessary to ensure meetings have a purpose and are a valuable use of our members’ time. To be alerted to upcoming Conservation Committee meetings or for more information, please contact Jim Strogen at [email protected].