From Sandy Point at an elevation of 9,100 feet. From Cliff travel northeast on State Road 211 for approximately 2.25 miles to 916 Ranch Road which is a county maintained dirt road that can get sloppy when wet. Alternatively you can take trail 151 from Iron Creek Lake and drop into Iron Creek and fish your way up the creek to the fish barrier located approximately 3.5-4 miles upstream of where trail 151 hits the creek. Best Bush Whacking Waders on the Market. Sixty-five thousand Gila Trout eggs arrived at the hatchery in spring 2017 from Mora National Fish Hatchery in New Mexico. Recovery efforts are underway to help establish fishable populations of the Gila Trout. Biologists are using a variety of tools to bring back the Gila—micro-chipped trout, helicopters, new hatchery techniques, … Choose one or the other depending on your hiking capability and ability to deal with higher altitudes. By the time the species was formerly described in 1950 its distribution had been dramatically reduced to as few as 20 stream miles [1]. 10:02. There is also some Channel and Flathead Catfish found throughout the many streams and manmade lakes. Bob Shell Blogs About Old Ammo, Guns, Hunting, Etc. In order to consider the species for delisting under the Endangered Species Act, specific recovery criteria must be met, including the number of populations and miles of occupied stream habitat. Each is stocked with rainbow trout in the fall, winter, and spring. The Gila River mountains of southwest New Mexico are isolated and surrounded by desert – how did they come to raise their own unique salmonid, the Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae)? Once you reach the bottom, fishing for Gila trout is open from approximately a half mile downstream of the trail to approximately 3.5 miles upstream at the confluence of Trail Canyon and Mogollon Creek at the intersection of trails 153 and 301. Over 30 Years Running New Mexico's Rivers. There is a dam on Willow Creek that prevents non-native fish from migrating to the headwaters. Fly Fishing for RARE Gila Trout in New Mexico - Duration: 10:02. Huddled as close to the fallen tree as we could get, Kirk and I looked at each other, our eyes wide with surprise and a touch of fear. Avoid being out on the trail during a lightning storm and pack a poncho. Great Selection of Outdoor Stories and Pics. Found only in the desert Southwestern regions of Arizona and New Mexico (mostly New Mexico), it is a rare catch indeed. The stream is expected to provide excellent opportunities for some exciting Gila trout fishing. A Gila trout. Follow 159 east for approximately 16 miles to Sandy Point Trail Head. Genetically pure populations of this rare native trout still exist in several streams in northern New Mexico. Head North on 916 Ranch Road for approximately 7-8 miles to an intersection, take a right and head east for approximately 6.5 miles to the “74 Mountain” trailhead where there is a small parking area and trailhead sign. Trophy Tiger Muskies in Quemado, Bluewater Lakes make for Amazing Angling, Record Breaking, Trophy Sized Tiger Muskies at Bluewater Lake, Otter Olshansky: A lonely death on New Mexico's Continental Divide Trail, Wild Hogs Invade New Mexico & Threaten to Wreak Havoc, Where's the Gila Trout? Campgrounds have toilets and picnic tables. Editors note: The backcountry is open this summer too but you'll need a fishing and vehicle permit from the NPS to go angling. Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Bass are also commonly caught in the streams near the ranch. The Verde River population may have represented an intermediate between the Gila and Apache trout, however this population went extinct by the 1950’s (Miller 1950) and little is known about the original native trout (Behnke 2002). Add the broad variety of species from panfish to trout, bass and catfish, northern pike and walleye, and you have one of the best places to fish in the nation. It is catch and release fishing. Those seeking more information about these directions, road conditions and other information about the Gila wilderness and forest areas can visit the Gila National Forest’s website or call their office in Silver City at (505) 388-8201. Flowing through nearly 650 miles of New Mexico and Arizona, the Gila River is an excellent trout fishing stream that also offers opportunities to catch smallmouth bass and catfish. Remember you are in the Gila Wilderness, pack out what you pack in. The New Mexico state record Gila trout is 4 pounds, 8 ounces. HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC Radio)--Connecticut anglers will have a chance for some late season winter fishing with a recent stocking of close to 500 Lake Trout across select lakes and ponds in the state. Journalist Steve W. Terrell of Santa Fe N.M. All material herein is copyright protected and actively enforced. Wow! Biologists have spent decades trying to bring … Currently, all Gila trout recovery streams in Arizona are closed to angling. These are available from various vendors within and around the Gila National Forest and from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish , 1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, NM 87507, Phone: (505) 476-8000 | Toll-free (888) 248-6866 . Black Canyon is the one Gila trout stream within in the Gila National Forest which anglers can drive to and fish. These include the brook, brown, Gila, Rio Grande cutthroat and rainbow trout. See the attached map. When the summer heat comes down on Santa Fe, there’s a great little spot this side of the Pecos where one can fish, picnic and play in the... Photo Courtesy of Diane Gilmore It wasn’t the kind of story you might expect to hear upon walking into a biker bar like Silva’s in downto... Tim Davidson, 57, of Shiprock shows off a nice rainbow trout he caught at Acomita Lake this spring. Deep in the New Mexico desert, amongst Anasazi ruins and rough, wild country lurks the rarest of the rare . by Chris Hunt - Tuesday, Nov 17th, 2020. The Gila trout can only be found in these waters, it is dark olive green on the back with a golden yellow belly and small black spots. Here’s the Maps & Directions, Elephant Butte Lake’s historic lodge, cottages and cabins a great place to stay, Winter a wonderful time to visit the Valles Caldera, Spring caddis hatch on the Rio Grande should be good to fish in 2018, Spring fishing should be good in 2018 despite return of drought, San Juan River’s Simon Canyon Run Under Restoration, Trout stocked all winter long in New Mexico to keep anglers happy, Lagunitas Lakes Make for Fine Fall Fishing, Otter Olshansky: A lonely death on New Mexico’s Continental Divide Trail, Great Family Fun at Clayton Lake State Park Fishing Derby, USDA NRCS NM Reservoirs & Snowpack Reports. The species lives only in New Mexico and Arizona along the Mogollon Rim, an area of conservation emphasis for the Service. Reliable advice on routing to Whiskey and all lakes on the Navajo Nation is strongly advised. Red River. This is required in addition to possessing a regular fishing license. This river is in the middle of nowhere so there usually is not much traffic. Since then some limited catch and release opportunities for Gila trout have been opened in New Mexico and Arizona is also starting to reestablish populations across the state. Mogollon Creek from the waterfall to Trail Canyon is open to angling for Gila trout from July 1-Oct. 31. Thanks to frequent trout plants by New Mexico Game & Fish the Land of Enchantment offers a wide variety of places to catch rainbow trout. At the junction of trail 153 and 301, trail 153 turns north up Trail Canyon and is impassable. Gila trout have luminous gold bodies adorned with copper gill covers and, often, a faint pink stroke at the midline. There is no trail dropping into Iron Creek so you have to pick you poison and just drop off trail 172 into the creek where you think you may be able to pick your way through rock outcrops to the bottom. Gila trout were off limits to anglers for 50 years until it was down-listed. Trout fishing is one of the most popular fishing sports in America today. 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. New Mexico has two native trout species: the Gila trout and the Rio Grande cutthroat, our state fish. You’ll also need a free Gila Trout Fishing Permit. The best part about trout fishing in New Mexico, is that anglers have the opportunity to catch trout from one end of the state to the other whether stream or lake. In Arizona, no stream-fishing for the species is avaialable, although the state says that they may open some waters as recovery efforts bear fruit. Leave the trailhead by daylight or before to minimize discomfort. Take 172 southwest for approximately 4 miles and again pick a spot to drop off into Iron Creek. With more information on Gila trout available, interest from fly anglers from across the country is growing. In 2007, select waters in the Gila National Forest were open to anglers and remain so. By Karl Moffatt It’s New Mexico’s... New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) Conservation Officer, Travis Nygren, shows off one of the giant tiger muskies found at Blue... By Wren Propp Finding Otter The snow was deep and unstable on the road into Lower Lagunitas Campground as Ian Crombie... Wild hogs are invading New Mexico and are threatening to destroy the environment, spread disease and run off wildlife, according to authorit... Steve Chase, 28, of Laguna, NM shows off a fat salmon he snagged at Navajo Lake last year. There are numerous great camping spots along the creek but be sure to practice minimum impact camping and pack out what you packed in, after all, this is the first designated wilderness area in the Nation. The Department of Game and Fish initiated the “New Mexico Trout Challenge” that highlights the goal of catching a Gila trout and is open to residents and non-residents holding a valid license and a free Gila trout permit. Gila Trout Fishing Permit (Free) A Gila Trout Fishing Permit is required to fish Black Canyon, Gilita Creek, Mineral Creek, Mogollon Creek, Sapillo Creek, West Fork Gila River (headwaters to East Fork confluence), Whitewater Creek, and Willow Creek (including tributaries). They were here when the Mogollon made their cliff dwellings and the first Apache clans arrived. 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. Starting in 1999, Gila trout were reintroduced into Dude Creek in the Verde River drainag… Its hard being the bearer of bad news, but it is bad out there! If you hook into a larger one, you'll have quite a tussle on your hands. Fresh off the endangered species list after a long running, and often heroic, recovery effort, anglers can fish for Gila trout in three creeks within the Gila Wilderness and National Forest beginning July 1st. One of the nicest things about fishing in New Mexico is the year-round season for most waters. They were thought to have been extirpated from the state before we had regulated fishing seasons,” explained Young. Middle Fork Gila River, New Mexico fishing report, rainbow trout fly fishing forecast, fishing season updates, fly shop and fishing guides, and fly-fishing weather. Gila trout have had a rough go of things as drought, wildfires and nonnative fish have all taken their toll, but in recent years the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) has restocked Whitewater Creek, Mineral Creek and other western New Mexico streams. And don’t forget about the phenomenon of winter ice fishing in the so-called desert Southwest . To access Iron Creek by the second route continue along State Road 159 for another 10-12 miles past Sandy Point to Willow Creek campground at 8,000 ft. From the trailhead at Willow Creek hike 1 mi. Mid-day temperatures during the summer can reach the upper 90’s, so plenty of water and cool, loose clothing are essential. Gila trout have had a rough go of things as drought, wildfires and nonnative fish have all taken their toll, but in recent years the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) has restocked Whitewater Creek, Mineral Creek and other western New Mexico streams. In an interview with New Mexico Wildlife, Tucker Brauer, Rio Grande cutthroat biologist with the Department of Game and Fish, talked about the reintroduction of this important species to our state. The Red River is a tributary of the Rio Grande and can be broken into two sections. Start downhill through Hummingbird Saddle and the trail skirts around the north slope of Whitewater Baldy, at 10,895 ft. the highest peak on the Gila. Their native habitat is the Gila River and its coldwater tributaries. Follow the link for more details of the challenge. Fishing licenses are required in New Mexico. We fell on the slippery rocks and bushwhacked through the dense undergrowth to cast our lines for this rare Southwestern trout. Lower 1 mi. Arizona Gila Trout The yellow Gila trout tucked away from humanity in a tiny trickle of water greedily ate our flies and made us forget about the thorns and brush that tore at our clothing. If you are coming from the north through the Forest you will have to avoid Forest Road 28 near Gilita Creek as it is washed out and is currently under construction near the confluence of Gilita Creek and Willow Creek. These trout are one of the most colorful trout you can catch. Other streams include the Rio Guadalupe in the Jemez and the Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam. The trail head at Sandy point provides parking, a toilet and camping is allowed. 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. The Rio Grande cutthroat trout is one of two native species of trout found in New Mexico (The other native New Mexico trout specie we have is the Gila Trout which is only found in southern part of the state). Gila trout have luminous gold bodies adorned with copper gill covers and, often, a faint pink stroke at the midline. From the junction of 153 and 189 you will travel approximately 1.5 miles on the ridge and then begin your descent into Mogollon Creek. Three rods cannot be used at anytime. Iron Creek is now open year round while Mogollon and Black Canyon creeks are open between July 1st and October 31st. And Outdoors New Mexico has the maps and directions you’ll need to navigate the backcountry of the Gila National Forest and Wilderness where these wonderful fish reside. Fresh off the endangered species list after a long running, and often heroic, recovery effort, anglers can fish for Gila trout in three creeks within the Gila Wilderness and National Forest beginning July 1st. The Trail to Recovery. 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. However, Gila trout in the East Verde River, Frye Mesa Reservoir, Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, and Goldwater Lake can be angled. There are two routes that can be utilized to access Iron Creek from the northern boundary of the Gila Wilderness. But be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms and dropping temperatures afterwards. Gila trout are a small cousin of the rainbow trout, rarely exceeding two feet in length, and more often closer in size to the diminutive but beautiful brook trout of our upper New Haven or Middlebury Rivers—which isn’t surprising since the streams they live in in the mountains of New Mexico are of a similar size to Vermont’s small mountain streams. The fish are average size with an occasional whopper over 15”, but there are lots of them. Now threatened, the trout is back from extinction and its history is amazing. Once you reach the bottom, fishing for Gila trout is open from approximately a half mile downstream of the trail to approximately 3.5 miles upstream at the confluence of Trail Canyon and Mogollon Creek at the intersection of trails 153 and 301. You’ll also need a free Gila Trout Fishing Permit. Brauer, who is originally from Idaho, received an associate’s degree in aquaculture from College of Southern Idaho and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fish science from the University of Idaho. Visit the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildli… Gila Trout Meet Recovery Goals in New Mexico. The trout lives within the cooler, higher waters of the Gila’s New Mexico portion. The Rio Grande Gorge supports a thriving population of brown trout in a wild setting. Gila Trout were listed as endangered in 1973, and due to successful restoration projects, mostly in New Mexico, they were downlisted to threatened in 2006. Navajo fishing and boat permits are available at sporting goods stores in the Gallup and Farmington areas. Anglers who accept the challenge and are fortunate enough to catch all five species will be inducted into the New Mexico Trout Challenge Hall The crystalline water of Mineral Creek above the storied ghost town of Mogollon, New Mexico, is but only one place to catch Gila trout. The first 10 miles of 159 to the Ghost Town of Mogollon is paved but is very steep, narrow, and windy. Continue north for 28 miles on NM 52 to Winston, NM where gas and food is available. They are now open to recreational fishing again after a 50-year moratorium. The trout made the first listing of the federal Endangered Species Act in 1973, launching further efforts to protect and restore the fish. Fishing licenses are required in New Mexico. to Beaverhead, a Forest Service work station. Willow, Gilita and Sapillo creeks and West Fork Gila River were recipients of the fish. A native of New Mexico, the Gila trout can be found in clear running streams deep within the Gila National Forest. Only catch-and-release angling with single, barbless artificial fly or lure is allowed. Oryx Hunt on Ted Turner's New Mexico Ranch Special Event for a Lady, Newly Reopened Acomita Lake is Hot Spot for Trout, Scenery and a Good Time, Valles Caldera Backcountry Open to Motorists, Ant Fall on the San Juan River Amazes Anglers, The Blond Coyote Great: A Great Travel Blog, Hopper Juan - Great Fly Patterns & Instructions, New Wave Rafting Blog: Great Photos of Life on the River. Catching a Gila Trout is a step towards completing the New Mexico Trout Challenge. Nambe Lake and Falls Beats the Heat - Great Fishing, Hiking, Scenery. Camping is available along Black Canyon downstream of Forest Road 150. The record northern pike is still set at 36 pounds since the year 1974. From 28 you can take Forest Road 119 to Bearwallow Mountain then Forest Road 153 to State Road 159 to circumvent the construction area. Turn right on Forest Road 150 and continue for 18 miles to Black Canyon. Deep in the New Mexico desert, amongst Anasazi ruins and rough, wild country lurks the rarest of the rare by Chris Hunt - Tuesday, Nov 17th, 2020 A Gila trout (photo: Chris Hunt). Last fall, another 8,621 Gila trout were placed in other waters to advance the species’ recovery and entice anglers to go after native trout in native habitats of southwest New Mexico. Mogollon creek is a tributary of the Main Stem Gila River,located in the Gila Wilderness on the Wilderness Ranger District. Lug or Felt Sole. Flowing through nearly 650 miles of New Mexico and Arizona, the Gila River is an excellent trout fishing stream that also offers opportunities to catch smallmouth bass and catfish. For 2016-17, anglers in New Mexico can catch wild Gila trout in just a single stream, Mogollon Creek. Anglers wishing to fish for Gila trout need to go online to the state Department of Game and Fish’s website and download a free, Gila trout fishing permit. Gila Trout See the Gila Trout Recovery and Angling page. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, with assistance from Trout Unlimited and New Mexico Trout, is actively reclaiming streams and restocking them with Rio Grande cutthroats. They were here when Spain claimed New Mexico as part of its territory and when American trapper James O. Pattie came through in search of beaver skins. Contact the publisher for reprint permission, to advertise, complain or praise. He holds a BS in Wildlife Biology from Western New Mexico University in Silver City and when he’s not working he can be found helping his wife and two sons raise livestock for 4-H and FFA competition. Photo courtesy of Jerry Monzingo, Fisheries Biologist, US Forest Service, Gila National Forest. Anglers fishing on lakes and streams on National Forest lands are also required to purchase a Habitat Improvement Stamp. But even so it can be a long, challenging trip. There are many streams in this area that feed the Gila, and it gives an angler a lot of opportunity to catch many fish. The New Mexico state record Gila trout is 4 pounds, 8 ounces. There are no services for approximately 80 miles in Winston, NM. Sections of the trail are not a system trail and are not marked or maintained. The Inspiring Recovery of Gila Trout in New Mexico New Mexico has two native trout species: the Gila trout and the Rio Grande cutthroat, our state fish. As noted earlier, it will be hot during the month of July when the fishing season begins, however, higher elevations will be a little cooler. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser. Catch, Release, Repeat Fishing 568 views. Well, many millennia ago the climate was cooler and the waters of the Gila ran unabated some 700 miles, all the way to the Colorado River, a true instream flow. The hike down is steep and moderately difficult with plenty of switchbacks. At the junction of trail 153 and 301, trail 153 turns north up Trail Canyon and is impassable. From Winston continue approximately 10 miles to NM 59 and follow NM 59 for approximately 31 mi. Photo courtesy of Jerry Monzingo, Fisheries Biologist, US Forest Service. Over 20 miles of the upper West Fork of the Gila have been treated multiple times; this would bring Gila trout range in New Mexico close to 100 stream miles but getting all the non-native browns removed is still incomplete. If you’re visiting during the summer months, head to Lake Roberts where you can catch channel catfish and small-mouth bass. A Gila trout (photo: Chris Hunt). Ope... Matt Pelletier of New Mexico Muskie's Inc at Quemado Lake, Fall 2010.Photo courtesy of Pelletier. Gila trout eggs on a redd. At Beaverhead turn left onto Forest Road 150/NM61 a gravel and dirt raod and proceed approximately 25 miles to Black Canyon. Of course, Worsham’s fish is heavier than both. Once to Mogollon the road turns to a gravel and dirt surface for the remainder of the way to Sandy Point. Real DJ's - Real Local - Really Good Music. The trail up “74 Mountain” is rocky and steep and will require some sweat, so take plenty of water and note that in July and August it can be brutally hot and dry. reach of Gila trout area is accessible from FS 150 where it crosses the creek. Journalist J.R. Absher's Outdoor Pressroom. Information about best trout fly fishing locations and species can be invaluable. A note of caution, be mindful of weather conditions that can change rapidly in southern New Mexico. LARGEST Gila Trout Caught and Released on YouTube? Unlike the hike into Mineral Creek, these waters are readily accessible. From Iron Creek Lake at 8,300 ft it is a steady climb to 9,400 ft. along 4 miles to the drop off spot. 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