A Day in the Field – Gila Trout on the Landscape at Dude Creek

On October 10, 2017, Department staff, along with personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mora National Fish Hatchery, Tonto National Forest, and Trout Unlimited, stocked 500 Gila Trout into Dude Creek. Due to the rough terrain, the trout were transferred from the hatchery truck into coolers on UTVs to get closer to the stocking locations. Crews then transported the fish in insulated buckets strapped to backpacks and distributed them throughout the creek. The young-of-the-year Gila Trout averaged four inches in length. This is the third stocking of Dude Creek. Trout from previous stockings in 2015 and 2016 were observed and ranged in size from six to 12 inches. Dude Creek is managed as a Gila Trout recovery stream. The creek will be monitored annually to determine the success of the introductions.


Transferring trout from the hatchery truck to the transport buckets.


A great day to release Gila Trout into Dude Creek.


The recently released trout look silvery because of the long transport in the hatchery truck. Their normal coloring returns quickly.